Juergen Winkelmann

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VMware Tools for Solaris 10


Solaris 10 has experimental support or can at least be installed on almost any VMware version, but VMware doesn't provide a VMware Tools package for Solaris 10. This page provides an implementation of vmware-guestd, vmware-toolbox and vmware-user for Solaris 10 with the following partial functionality:

The implementation uses the binaries from the "VMware Tools for Linux" distribution for the corresponding VMware version. These binaries run on a RedHat 6.2 environment provided by a slightly modified version of the "lxrun" Linux emulation for Solaris 10.


The following VMware Tools functionality can not be provided by this implementation:

If you need any of these you have to wait for an official implementation from VMware.


Basic Installation

The implementation of VMware Tools through "lxrun" should work with almost any VMware version but of course I cannot provide an installer for each. As far as I'm aware, there exist basically a GTK-based implementation of vmware-toolbox (latest versions of VMware WS) and a not GTK-based implementation (older VMware WS versions and VMware ESX). If your VMware version isn't among those listed below for download, I recommend to choose the one for VMware WS 5.5.1 if your version has a GTK-based vmware-toolbox or the one for VMware ESX 2.5.1, if your version doesn't have a GTK-based vmware-toolbox.


You can than later replace the vmware-toolbox or vmware-toolbox-gtk, vmware-guestd, vmware-checkvm and vmware-user binaries with those provided by your "VMware Tools for Linux" distribution. An example on how to do this is given for VMware ESX in the "Remarks" section of


Perform the following steps to install VMware Tools in your Solaris 10 VM:

  1. The implementation through lxrun in fact runs the binaries of VMware Tools for Linux. VMware in consequence enables some functionality (for example "Fit Guest") only if the virtual machine has defined Linux as it's Guest OS. To make all functionality usable I recommend setting the Guest Operating System to Linux, Version "Other Linux" instead of Solaris. I didn't observe any change in the behaviour of a Solaris VM after setting the Guest OS to Linux, except that it makes VMware "believe" that there is really a Linux system with it's corresponding VMware Tools running in this virtual machine ;-)

  2. If you already have an older version of VMware Tools for Solaris installed, enter

    # rm -rf /opt/vmware

    to remove it.

  3. Download and gunzip one of the following ISO images:


  4. Connect the ISO image to the virtual CDROM drive of your Solaris 10 VM.

  5. Mount the CDROM and change directory to it:

    If you don’t have vold installed, you'll find the CDROM typically at /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s2. So issue for example

    # mount –rF hsfs /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s2 /mnt
    # cd /mnt

    If you have vold installed issue:

    # eject cdrom
    # volcheck
    # cd /cdrom/vmware-solaris-tools
  6. Run the installer and reboot:

    # ./vmware-tools-install
    # reboot
  7. The name of the virtual network interface is hardcoded in the script /opt/vmware/linux/sbin/ifconfig as ae0. If your network interface has a different name, edit the script and replace ae0 with the name of your network interface. Typical choices are ae0 or pcn0 for the virtual vlance adapter and e1000g0 for the virtual e1000g adapter. Due to its erratic behaviour in virtual machines, I don't recommend using the pcn0 interface.

  8. Add vmware-toolbox to the list of startup commands of your desktop.

    If you want to use guest resizing through the
    "Autofit Guest" and "Fit Guest Now" functions of VMware Workstation also add vmware-user. See "Enable Autofit Guest and Fit Guest Now Functionality" below for additional requirements and steps to enable guest resizing.

Enable "Autofit Guest" and "Fit Guest Now" Functionality

Guest resizing works with VMware Workstation 5.5.1 at least at build-19175 and Solaris 10 VMs having Xorg 6.8.2 or higher installed. This is the case for Update 1 (1/06) systems and for GA (3/05) systems with a patch level corresponding at least to Update 1 (1/06). The instructions listed here will configure your system for use of Xorg and replace your current /etc/X11/xorg.conf, if you already have one. Your original xorg.conf will be retained as xorg.conf_BeforeVMwareToolsInstall.


Although guest resizing in principle works with Gnome and with CDE, I strongly recommend using it with Gnome only: CDE obviously isn't aware of on the fly changes of the display resolution. So, if your CDE toolbar is located at the bottom of the screen and you resize it to a smaller size, the toolbar will be outside your screen and thus will be not accessible. When using guest resizing with CDE you need to manually move the toolbar to a convenient location before switching to a smaller display size.


If you installed the Tools for VMware Workstation 5.5.1 from my ESX website before March 6th, you need to remove it and reinstall the version published here. The old version from the ESX website doesn't support guest resizing because I missed some details there ;-)


Because the configuration of Xorg as installed with Solaris 10 isn't straightforward I still recommend using Xsun in VMs that don't need or don't support guest resizing (for example ESX VMs).


After having completed the basic installation and verified that you have Xorg 6.8.2 or higher installed on your system, perform the following steps to activate the guest resizing functionality:

  1. Mount the VMware Tools ISO and change directory to it as described under "Basic Installation"

  2. Run the installer:

    # ./vmware-tools-install-fit-guest

  3. Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf:


  4. Logout from the desktop and suspend the desktop login to obtain a login prompt for the text mode console.

  5. Login to the text mode console as root and run kdmconfig.

  6. On the first kdmconfig screen change the X server from Xsun to Xorg.

  7. Logout from the text mode console and resume your desktop login.

    The destop login panel will now always come up with the resolution you used to replace XXXXxYYYY in step 3 and thus will typically be a bit too large if you aren't in full screen mode. You can easily change this after having logged in by using the "Fit Guest Now" menu. Or, if you like to modify startup scripts, you can enter a "xrandr -s XxY" command somewhere into the startup sequence of your desktop login panel, where XxY is the desired initial resolution to use. If you do this, you should make sure, that the xrandr command is issued before vmware-user starts up.

    Don't use xorg.conf to define the initial resolution, because the value defined there is the maximum resolution usable. You will not be able to get full screen resolution when entering full screen mode if you define a smaller resolution in xorg.conf than that of your physical display.

  8. Login to the desktop. As soon as vmware-toolbox and vmware-user have started, the previously greyed out menu "Fit Guest Now" gets activated. The guest resizing functions are now available.



Mar/06/2006: Initial version

Mar/10/2006: Added information on keyboard definition for xorg

Mar/11/2006: Added advice to set the Guest Operating System to Linux instead of Solaris