[INFO] Linux VMware Tools Install Changes to Upstart

This is another short post to let you all know myself and Jeremy Sage from VMware GSS found an interesting thing with VMware tools on newer versions of Linux.  I found this as I have been using the new CentOS 6.2 Minimal ISO for a lot of my new builds.  That will be a separate post, but if you have not tried it check it out.  The thing we found only seems to affect the vSphere 5.0 tools, not the older ones even on the same build of CentOS regardless of the hardware version.  This was originally going to be used as an image in a vCloud catalog so natrually the tools are important for customization and why I started to investigate it.  Just because the vCenter server showed tools “OK” and “RUNNING” I wanted to know where they were.  This does not affect all versions of Linux, but if you are trying to figure it out hopefully this helps.

The main point is that the newer versions of RHEL and CentOS as well as a few other distributions are using Upstart for services.  I kept thinking the installer for the tools was not actually working, because on a vSphere 5 host the tools are NOT installed to chkconfig or /etc/init.d like they are with the pre-vSphere 5.0 tools.

vmware-config-tools.pl --help
VMware Tools 8.3.7 build-341836 configurator

chkconfig output
udev-post 0:off 1:on 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
vmware-tools 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:off 5:on 6:off

Output of the /etc/init.d directory
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 36376 Jan 10 20:17 vmware-tools
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 2824 Jan 2 20:23 vsftpd

OLD Command and output to check tools
service vmware-tools status
vmtoolsd is running

OLD Command to start/stop: service vmware-tools start

Starting VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
 Switching to guest configuration: [ OK ]
 VM communication interface: [ OK ]
 VM communication interface socket family: [ OK ]
 Guest operating system daemon: [ OK ]
 Virtual Printing daemon: [ OK ]

With vSphere 5.0 tools and the new versions of RHEL and CentOS you get a different set of commands since Upstart is used.  The scripts are also in a different location.

vmware-config-tools.pl --help
VMware Tools 8.6.0 build-446312 configurator.
 chkconfig output: (Will show nothing for vmware-tools) sshd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
udev-post 0:off 1:on 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
vsftpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

Output of the /etc/init directory (NEW LOCATION is not init.d NOTE THE .CONF File!) .... .... -rw-r--r--. 1 root root 147 Oct 7 10:01 tty.conf
-r--r--r--. 1 root root 915 Dec 25 19:11 vmware-tools.conf

NEW Command to check tools: status vmware-tools
VMmware-tools start/running
 NEW Command to start/stop: start/stop vmware-tools
VMmware-tools start/running

Hopefully this keeps you from calling GSS, or in my case filing a bug thinking that the tools were not installing properly.  They are there, you just need to know where to find the scripts and what the new Upstart syntax is.  Maybe this post will save you the time it took me to locate the changes, or maybe you already knew and I was out of the loop :).


About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Thanks- this saved me some head scratching wondering why the new installer wasn’t asking about init script locations!

  2. Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea they moved to upstart.

  3. Thanks – I was slso looking for how vmware-tools started. I was thinking the tools might only have kernel modules now.

  4. start vmware-tools

    start: Job failed to start

  5. Hi Chris,

    I have installed centos6.4 vm on Vcloud and try to run the below command but shows the error.

    #/usr/sbin/vmtoolsd –cmd “info-get guestinfo.ovfEnv”
    No value found

    # vmware-config-tools.pl –help
    VMware Tools 8.6.5 build-652272 configurator.

    # cat /etc/redhat-release
    CentOS release 6.4 (Final)

    Can you please assit me why i’m getting the error “No value found” in Centos. As i check
    by using this command but no use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *