Gentoo: How to Install open-vm-tools

When installing the open-vm-tools package in a Gentoo guest, it’s possible that you will get an error like the following:

* Messages for app-emulation package / open-vm-tools-$version:
 * CONFIG_VMWARE_BALLOON: is not set when it should be.
 * CONFIG_VMWARE_VMCI: is not set when it should be.
 * CONFIG_VMWARE_VMCI_VSOCKETS: is not set when it should be.

This error occurs when the kernel configuration being used is missing certain modules. To add these in, go back to the kernel sources in /usr/src/linux and run make menuconfig again.

In the menu that opens, make sure to have the following options match this:

| Processor types and features
|-| [*] Linux guest support

| Device Drivers
|-| Misc Devices
|-|-| <M> VMware Balloon Driver
|-|-| <M> VMware VMCI Driver

| Networking Support
|-| Networking Options
|-|-| <M> Virtual Socket Protocol
|-|-|-| <M> VMware VMCI Transport for Virtual Sockets

Note that the options that have <M> next to them can be set to either <M> or <*>. <M> means that the driver will be compiled as a module that can be added dynamically, and <*> will be compiled into the kernel and always present. Either is acceptable in this case.

Now recompile the kernel, install it again, reboot, and attempt to install open-vm-tools once more. The package should install successfully this time. Run the following commands to make sure that the tools start when the machine boots:

rc-update add vmware-tools default

echo 'modules="vsock vmw_vsock_virtio_transport vmw_vsock_virtio_transport_common vmw_vsock_vmci_transport"' >>/etc/conf.d/modules

About: Bailey Kasin

I build virtual environments and challenges for Cybersecurity students to complete as a way to gain experience before graduating and entering the workforce.

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