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Install VMware Tools For Backtrack 5 Running Via VMware Player On Windows 7

If you are running a Backtrack VM via VMware Player on Windows 7 then you will want to make sure that VMware Tools is installed. This will allow your host OS to communicate properly with the guest Operating System which in this case is Backtrack 5 release 2. The VMware Tools description page also lists the below items as enhancements when VMware Tools is installed on the guest operating system.

List Of Enhancements When VMware Tools Is Installed On Guest OS:

  • Low video resolution
  • Inadequate color depth
  • Incorrect display of network speed
  • Restricted movement of the mouse
  • Inability to copy and paste and drag-and-drop files
  • Missing sound

One of the main items for me is the ability to copy and paste between the host operating system and the guest operating system. While it is pretty clear cut how VMware tools is installed it may not be a snap for someone new to Linux and thus new to Backtrack so the steps below should assist. The below instructions should be very similar for numerous flavors of Linux including CentOS, RedHat, Fedora, Ubuntu, Backtrack, etc.

Install VMware Tools On Backtrack 5 r2 Guest OS Via VMware Player On Windows 7:

  1. Launch VMware Player With Backtrack 5r2: VMware Tools is installed while the guest operating or in this case Backtrack 5 r2 is running so launch VMware Player on Windows 7 and boot the Backtrack virtual machine. Login to Backtrack and start X by typing “startx” from the CLI which will boot X Windows and provide a GUI desktop you are more familiar with.
  2. Mount VMware Tools Media: Now with VMware Player running Backtrack as the active window click on Virtual Machine from the top navigation and select Install VMware Tools from the drop down. The below example image displays the menu location however since VMware Tools is already installed the actual menu item is Reinstall VMware Tools instead of Install VMware Tools.
    Install VMware Tools Menu ItemBy selecting Install VMware Tools from the menu an ISO image will be mounted that includes the VMware Tools installer for the guest operating system which in this case is Backtrack 5r2.
  3. Copy VMware Tools Installer: Open a Terminal window in Backtrack and change the directory to root’s desktop as shown in the below example command. Next copy the VMware Tools installer to the desktop using syntax similar to the second example command below. Please note that the syntax may be a bit different depending on the VMware Tools version being installed on the guest operating system.
    cd /root/Desktop/
    cp -p /media/VMware Tools/VMwareTools-8.8.2-590212.tar.gz .
    

    Again if the VMware Tools version has changed the syntax will be a bit different so during the cp command above you can hit Tab on your computer after typing VMwar. Make sure to not forget the “.” at the end of the cp command as that tells cp to copy the file specified to the current directory.

  4. Unpack VMware Tools Installer: Now use tar to unpack the contents of the VMware Tools installer by issuing a command similar to the below. Please note again that the syntax may be a slight bit different depending on the VMware Tools version being installed.
    tar -zxvf VMwareTools-8.8.2-590212.tar.gz
    

    This will create a sub directory on your desktop that has all of the necessary files needed to install VMware Tools on the guest operating system. The sub directory will be named “vmware-tools-distrib”.

  5. Launch VMware Tools Perl Install Script: Change into the vmware-tools-distrib folder and launch the VMware Tools Perl installer script which will be named vmware-install.pl. The example commands below show how to change into the proper directory and then what to type to launch the VMware Tools installer.
    cd vmware-tools-distrib/
    ./vmware-install.pl
    

    You will be asked a bunch of questions during the VMware Tools install process but the default answers are fine for each one so you just need to hit the Enter button whenever a question comes up. Make sure to read each question though in case there are any issues along the way or in case you want to change one of the default locations or what have you. When the VMware Tools Perl install script is complete the output will look similar to the below.

    You must restart your X session before any mouse or graphics changes take
    effect.
    
    You can now run VMware Tools by invoking "/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd" from the
    command line or by invoking "/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox" from the command line
    during an X server session.
    
    To enable advanced X features (e.g., guest resolution fit, drag and drop, and
    file and text copy/paste), you will need to do one (or more) of the following:
    1. Manually start /usr/bin/vmware-user
    2. Log out and log back into your desktop session; and,
    3. Restart your X session.
    
    Enjoy,
    
    --the VMware team
    
    Found VMware Tools CDROM mounted at /media/VMware Tools. Ejecting device
    /dev/sr0 ...
    

    To complete the installation and enable the VMware Tools functionality you need to restart X Windows either by logging off and logging back in or rebooting. I would personally recommend rebooting to ensure that everything is functioning properly and since it is a VM I don’t think rebooting is as big a deal.

You can test VMware Tools functionality by copying something within the Backtrack 5 VM and then attempting to paste it to Notepad on Windows 7. You can now share folders between the Backtrack VM and the Windows 7 host operating system by configuring this within the Virtual Machine settings.

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By (author): Matthew Portnoy


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