I am trying to install VMWareTools 9.6.5-270 on my freshly downloaded Linux Mint 19 from OSBoxes. I am running it inside VMWare Workstation 10.0.7 build-2844087

Like many online, I cannot get past the

The path "/usr/bin/gcc" is not valid path to the gcc binary

issue. I have read a few articles here and there that state there are pre-requisites that need to be installed. So far I have installed:

  • gcc
  • binutils
  • make
  • linux-source
  • build-essential (12.4ubuntu1)
  • linux-headers-4.15.0-20-generic

So which package did I forget to install? Or is the install script mistakenly detecting the path as wrong?

  • 1
    I notice it says usr/bin/gcc. Should not be /usr/bin/gcc? – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 29 '18 at 16:00
  • Yes, I could not copy-paste (given I do not have the tools) and I forgot the first slash. – David Brossard Aug 29 '18 at 19:45

I would advise against using VMware tools; use instead the open VMWare tools. Even VMware own white papers advise using open VMware tools nowadays.

To install it in Ubuntu/Debian, you do:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install open-vm-tools

If running a desktop/graphical interface in the VM, and having VMware tools installed in desktop/notebook as in your case, you might also want to install open-vm-tools-desktop so, the command is instead:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

As an added advantage, open-vm-tools, at least in pure Debian, does not need to be compiled, and thus not needing to install neither the kernel headers nor the compiler.

Installing it from the package manager also is much more convenient, as it brings automatically the dependencies, security updates and it it plays better with new kernel updates.

From the Ubuntu Wiki VMware/Tools

VMware recommends users to use open-vm-tools on Linux, including Ubuntu.

From VmWare white paper VMware support for open-vm-tools (2073803)


The primary purpose for open-vm-tools is to enable operating system vendors and/or communities and virtual appliance vendors to bundle VMware Tools into their product releases. open-vm-tools is the open source implementation of VMware Tools and consists of a suite of virtualization utilities that improves the functionality, administration, and management of virtual machines within a VMware environment.


The benefits of bundling open-vm-tools are:

  • End users get the best out-of-box experience to efficiently deploy virtual machines on VMware virtual infrastructure.

  • Reduces operational expenses and virtual machine downtime, because updates to open-vm-tools packages are provided with operating system maintenance updates and patches. This eliminates separate maintenance cycles for VMware Tools updates.

  • No compatibility matrix check is required for open-vm-tools. Adhering to the VMware Compatibility Matrix for the guest OS release is sufficient.

  • open-vm-tools bundled with the operating system provides a compact footprint optimized for each OS release.

    VMware support policy

  • VMware recommends using open-vm-tools redistributed by operating system vendors.

  • VMware does not recommend removing open-vm-tools redistributed by operating system vendors.

PS. I have managed a couple hundred Debian VMs servers in VMWare ESX, VMWare ESXi and Debian/Ubuntu VMs in VMWare Fusion all using open-vm-tools from Debian 5 to Debian 9 with great success.
PS2. Ubuntu is based on Debian. Mint is Ubuntu (based).

  • Thanks for your answer. I was actually told off on the askubuntu forum because "Mint is not Ubuntu-based". It's the first time I heard this and I can read everywhere that Mint is Ubuntu-based so I suppose it's some kind of religious war... – David Brossard Aug 29 '18 at 19:44
  • 2
    An half-truth. Mint is both based on Debian and Ubuntu, but then Ubuntu is Debian based... – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 29 '18 at 19:47
  • BTW copy-paste files into the VM does not seem to work. Is ther sthg additional I need to do? – David Brossard Aug 29 '18 at 19:54
  • 1
    I am running VMWare Fusion in Mac in only text mode. But I could swear there are some boxes to tick in the VMWare interface to be able to copy-paste. Wont be much of help telling you ªwhereª. – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 29 '18 at 20:06
  • 1
    I only use Mac and Linux too. ;) – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 29 '18 at 20:09

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