How to Install VMware Workstation Pro 15 on Linux Systems

This tutorial will show you how to install VMware Workstation Pro 15 on RHEL/CentOS, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint.

VMware Workstation Pro 15 is a popular software that allows you to run multiple different virtual machines on physical hosts using the concept of Type II of hypervisors (Hosted Hypervisors). This tutorial also discusses some common issues during the installation process.

What is new in VMware Workstation Pro 15

  1. Support for Windows 10 Creators Update as a virtual machine and host operating system with auto detect and easy install.
  2. New Guest operating system support for Ubuntu 18.04, Fedora 28, CentOS 7.5, RHEL 7.5, Debian 9.5, Oracle Linux 7.5, SLE 13 and OpenSUSE 42.3.
  3. Support for enabling VBS (Virtualization Based Security) within Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 running as a guest operating.
  4. Support for renaming virtual network in the Virtual Network Editor for better organization.
  5. Support for ESXi Host Power Operations such as Shutdown, Restart and Enter/Exit Maintenance Mode.
  6. With improved OVF/OVA support for testing and experimentation within Workstation.
  7. Scan for Virtual Machines in local folders as well as on network shared storage and USB drives.
  8. Automatically Suspend Shared Virtual Machines Upon Host Shutdown.
  9. New GTK+ 3 based UI for Linux.
  10. There are also some other few features that you will discover by practice and make hands-on labs.

Prerequisites

  1. Make sure that your system is 64-bit “VMware Doesn’t provide 32-bit edition” and its virtualization feature is enabled.
  2. Unfortunately, the 15th edition doesn’t support 32-bit processors may be due to the features improvements that need the higher level of processor BUT VMware didn’t talk about specific reasons.
  3. Make sure you have a license key to activate the product OR you will work in the evaluation mode “the same features but with ONLY 30 day period” after evaluation mode period ends YOU MUST enter a license key to activate the product.
  4. Before you begin this guide, you will need the root account OR non-root user with sudo privileges configured on your system (Physical host).
  5. Make sure your system and its kernel are up to date.

Step 1: Downloading VMware Workstation 15 Pro

1. First login into your server as root or non-root user with sudo permissions and run the following command to keep your system up-to-date.

# yum update				        [On RedHat Systems]
# dnf update                                    [On Fedora]
# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade     [On Debian Systems] 

2. Next, download the VMWare Workstation Pro installer script bundle from VMware official site.

3. After downloading the VMWare Workstation Pro script file, go to the directory which contains the script file and set the appropriate execute permission as shown.

# chmod a+x VMware-Workstation-Full-15.5.1-15018445.x86_64.bundle

Step 2: Installing VMWare Workstation 15 Pro in Linux

4. Now run the installer script to install VMWare Workstation Pro on a Linux host system, which will installed silently, and the installation progress is shown in the terminal.

# ./VMware-Workstation-Full-15.5.1-15018445.x86_64.bundle
OR
$ sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-15.5.1-15018445.x86_64.bundle
Sample Output
Extracting VMware Installer...done.
Installing VMware Installer 3.0.0
Copying files...
Configuring...
Installing VMware Player Setup 15.5.1
Copying files...
Configuring...
Installing VMware USB Arbitrator 18.7.0
Copying files...
Configuring...
Installing VMware Network Editor 15.5.1
Copying files...
Configuring...
Installing VMware VMX 15.5.1
Copying files...
...

Step 3: Running VMWare Workstation 15 Pro

5. To start the software for the first time you will find some issues as discussed below with fixes. To start the software type vmware in the terminal.

[[email protected] Downloads]# vmware

After running the above command, if you don’t have GCC GNU C Compiler, you will see the message which notifies you to install the GCC compiler and some components. Just press ‘Cancel‘ to continue.

VMWare Kernel Module Updater

VMWare Kernel Module Updater

9. Return to the terminal, then let’s install “Development Tools”.

[[email protected] Downloads]# yum groupinstall "Development tools"	[On RedHat Systems]
[email protected]:~# apt-get install build-essential			[On Debian Systems]

10. When it finished, let’s try to start the software again.

[[email protected] Downloads]# vmware

This time another issue will appear, its talk about kernel-headers, select “cancel” and let’s check if it installed or not.

VMWare Kernel Headers Missing

VMWare Kernel Headers Missing

[[email protected] Downloads]# rpm -qa | grep kernel-headers         [On RedHat systems]
[email protected]:~# dpkg -l | grep linux-headers    		[On Debian systems]

If nothing appears install it using.

[[email protected]]# yum install kernel-headers		[On RedHat Systems]
[email protected]:~# apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`	[On Debian Systems]

11. For further reasons which out of this tutorial scope, we will need to install another package “Kernel-devel”.

[[email protected] Downloads]# yum install kernel-devel      [On RedHat Systems]

12. When it finished, let’s try to start the software again “be patient, trust me ..it will be the last one ;)”.

[[email protected] Downloads]# vmware

Congratulations! we have solved all the issues, you will see this window.

VMWare WorkStation Starting

VMWare WorkStation Starting

It makes some modification in kernel modules and compiling some new tools just fewer minutes, the application start and home window appears and waits from you to kick start it and make your virtual machines.

VMWare Workstation Pro

VMWare Workstation Pro

Conclusion

Congratulations everything has done successfully, you should use in-deep the new features of the NEW edition of VMware Workstation 15 Pro, Do your labs and across Virtualization Ocean, GOod LuCk..

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61 Responses

  1. sabbir says:

    [[email protected] Downloads]# vmware
    [AppLoader] Use shipped PC/SC Lite smart card framework.
    An up-to-date “pcsc-lite-libs” or “libpcsclite1” package from your system is preferred.

    getting this error. Please help me out

  2. N00b says:

    I´m running Fedora 29, workstation 14 will stop even before the install started with the message:
    User interface initialization failed. Exiting. Check the log for details.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Noob,

      Please install required kernel headers, development tools and ncurses libraries as shown.

      # sudo dnf install kernel-devel kernel-headers
      # sudo dnf group install "Development Tools"
      # sudo dnf install ncurses-compat-libs
      
  3. Adam Bernstein says:

    You left out one very important detail. You MUST have an x86_64 CPU built in 2011 or later, otherwise 14.x and above DOES NOT WORK! This is a huge problem for people with desktop systems which are still functional (Intel Core 4 2.4GHz for example), and ran Workstation 12.x just fine.

    This also has a ripple effect for upgrading to newer versions of Linux, Ubuntu 18.04 for example, where Workstation 12.5.9 won’t even start. I’m not buying a newer computer because VMware arbitrarily decided to drop support for older 64-bit processors.

    https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-pro/faqs.html

  4. James says:

    What happens when the trial period ends? How much is a personal license?

  5. kenchua says:

    Hi,

    This error keep pop up, even I have install successful, please advise, thanks.

    C header files matching your running kernel were not found. Refer to your distribution’s documentation for installation instructions.

  6. Saqib says:

    Hi,

    I faced the same problem and I solve it by update VMware workstation 12 to 12.5.

    You can solve it in 2 ways..

    First way: If you already install VMware workstation 12 on Linux Mint 18 then download 12.5 from VMware site it’s free. Then follow the procedure to update from 12 to 12.5 by reading official documentation of VMware

    Second way: Uninstall VMware workstation 12 then install 12.5

  7. Saqib says:

    I have installed and I can run VMware 12.5 in LTS 16.04 Ubuntu. But network bridging does not work. When i connect VM interface to the bridged vmnet0 always get an error.

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