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How To Install VMware Player On Ubuntu 11.04/Linux Mint 11

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install VMware Player on an Ubuntu 11.04 or Linux Mint 11 desktop system. With VMware Player you can create and run guest operating systems (“virtual machines”) such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. on your desktop, i.e., you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money.

Also, with VMware Player you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: run under your Ubuntu/Linux Mint desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I’m using the user name falko with the home directory /home/falko here – please adjust this appropriately.


2 VMware Player

To download VMware Player, go to and click on Download:


On the next page, log in with your existing VMware account or create a new one:


Follow the on-screen instructions. At the end, you should receive an email with a link to your download page. On the download page, select the right VMware Player for your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on the Download button:


Select Save File in the Firefox download dialogue:


Then open a terminal and run the following command to install some packages needed by the VMware Player installer:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Player file, e.g. /home/falko/Downloads (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Downloads

Take a look at the contents of the directory:

ls -l

falko@falko-virtual-machine ~/Downloads $ ls -l
total 101136
-rw-r–r– 1 falko falko 103561067 2011-08-16 13:49 VMware-Player-3.1.4-385536.x86_64.bundle
falko@falko-virtual-machine ~/Downloads $

We can start the VMware Player installation as follows:

gksudo bash ./VMware-Player-3.1.4-385536.x86_64.bundle

This will start the graphical VMware Player installation wizard. Just click your way through it:



Click on Install to start the installation:


VMware Player is now being installed:


Afterwards you can start VMware Player by going to System Tools > VMware Player:


If you launch VMware Player for the first time, you have to accept its license:


This is how VMware Player looks. You can now build your own virtual machines with it or start existing virtual machines.


If you encounter problems starting an existing virtual machine (i.e., the virtual machine crashes soon after you start it), open /usr/bin/vmplayer

sudo gedit /usr/bin/vmplayer

… and add the line export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/vmware/lib/ before the set -e line:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# Copyright 2005-2008 VMware, Inc.  All rights reserved.
# Wrapper for the real 'vmplayer' binary. Ensure that the
# binary will find all the shared libraries it needs. If a shared
# library is not available from any of the standard system-wide
# locations, we provide it from the location where the VMware software
# is installed.
export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/vmware/lib/
set -e

. $ETCDIR/bootstrap

export PRODUCT_NAME="VMware Player"

# If there are command line arguments like -version, launch the binary without
# checking configuration state or running the module updater.
if echo "$1" | grep -q "^-"; then
   exec "$libdir"/bin/"vmplayer" "$@"

# Only run the GUI if DISPLAY is set.
if [ -z "$DISPLAY" ]; then
   echo "DISPLAY is not set, unable to open the $PRODUCT_NAME user interface."
   exit 1

if "$BINDIR"/vmware-modconfig --appname="VMware Player" --icon="vmware-player" &&
   /sbin/modinfo vmmon; then
   exec "$libdir"/bin/"vmplayer" "$@"

exit 1

Here are screenshots of a Debian Squeeze Server running under VMware Player…


… and of an Ubuntu 11.04 desktop:


  • Ubuntu:
  • Linux Mint:
  • VMware Player: