When running the VMware kernel module updater, I get the following message:

A compatible version of gcc was not found.

How can I setup GCC to compile the VMware kernel module?

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  • GCC is the compiler used to build the kernel module. It is possible it is not currently installed. Can you specify which distribution you are using? – nrolans Sep 18 '16 at 11:58

I hope this solves your problems.

Upgrade Kali to the Latest Which is 4.8.0-kali1-amd64

cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source

tar xf vmmon.tar

tar xf vmnet.tar

cd vmmon-only


cd ../vmnet-only


cd ..

mkdir /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc

cp vmmon.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmmon.ko

cp vmnet.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmnet.ko

depmod -a

/etc/init.d/vmware restart

Every time there's a new build for Kali, you have to go through these steps again.

  • i do it, but i got same problem ! – bader alzhrani Sep 30 '16 at 22:21
  • What was the Error you got. After running this command – Ogheneneovie Ralph Otutu Oct 5 '16 at 4:24
  • 2
    I think line 6 should be cd ../vmnet-only. Also, this worked like a charm--thanks. – MatrixManAtYrService Mar 27 '17 at 4:41
  • Worked for me on Mint 18.1 with kernel 4.9.20. Thanks. – Lakshman Chilukuri Apr 2 '17 at 10:11
  • 1
    Worked for me on Kali rolling. – blackappy Aug 25 '17 at 20:45

You will need to install the basic development tools and libraries for this. Depending if you are using a Debian derivative (Ubuntu/Mint/Kali) or a Red Hat based system (RHEL/CentOS) the commands to install are different:

Debian based

apt-get install build-essential

Red Hat based

yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

As a side note there is a package called open-vm-tools that provides the same functionality as VMware tools but are fully open source and better supported.

  • 2
    same problem , nothing change – bader alzhrani Sep 30 '16 at 22:21

If you are using Kali Linux Rolling Edition, just browse and select gcc-5 which is in /usr/bin or just type /usr/bin/gcc-5 in the location field, and press "Install".


I followed the answer by Ogheneneovie Ralph Otutu which used to work in previous kernels but does not seem to work on newer kernels. I was trying to compile the modules for vmware 12.5.9 on kernel 4.15.0-kali3-amd64 when I got some errors:

/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c: In function ‘LinuxDriverInitTSCkHz’:
/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:268:22: error: assignment from incompatible pointer type [-Werror=incompatible-pointer-types]                                 
    tscTimer.function = LinuxDriverEstimateTSCkHzDeferred;
/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:270:12: error: ‘struct timer_list’ has no member named ‘data’
    tscTimer.data     = 0;
/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c: In function ‘init_module’:
/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:312:4: error: implicit declaration of function ‘init_timer’; did you mean ‘init_timers’? [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]

Apparently changes in the Linux kernel made the VMware module sources incompatible.

To make this work I downloaded the patched source files for my version of VMware from https://github.com/mkubecek/vmware-host-modules/branches and followed the same steps as described by Ogheneneovie Ralph Otutu, i.e.:

cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source

wget https://github.com/mkubecek/vmware-host-modules/archive/player-12.5.9.zip

unzip player-12.5.9.zip

cd vmware-host-modules-player-12.5.9/vmmon-only/


cd ../vmnet-only/


cd ..

mkdir /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc

cp vmmon.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmmon.ko

cp vmnet.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmnet.ko

depmod -a

/etc/init.d/vmware restart

  • it worked. perfect answer. – t98907 Sep 19 '18 at 3:02

You probably don't have gcc installed.

Just try this:

gcc --version

You will probably get that gcc command is not installed or something like that.

Solution? Simple!

apt-get update
apt-get install gcc

In case you are missing gcc, there is good change that make is also not installed.

apt-get install make

and then re-run instalation of vmware tools.

  • Even with GCC installed I still get this issue (Fedora 30). It seems like it wants a very specific version of GCC – jocull May 29 at 12:43

This is a super nasty hack, but here's what I did to get the version I needed of GCC (8.3.1 in this case). I am on Fedora 30 which has 9.x right now. I'm sure this is not the right way, but I didn't know of a better way to grab the right version of GCC.

  1. Used Docker to start a new container for Fedora 29: docker run --rm -it fedora:29 bash
  2. Installed the needed GCC tools within the container: dnf install @development-tools
  3. Copied the GCC installation out to a folder on my machine: docker cp {containerid}:/usr/ {some_folder_on_my_machine}. You can look at the running containers with docker ps -a to find the container ID :) You may have to do this with sudo
  4. If you had to use sudo, take ownership of the newly copied folder sudo chown -R {user}:{user} {the_folder}
  5. Point VMware at the folder where you copied it out, for example {the_folder}/bin/gcc

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