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.


  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
$ 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...
Installing VMware Player Setup 15.5.1
Copying files...
Installing VMware USB Arbitrator 18.7.0
Copying files...
Installing VMware Network Editor 15.5.1
Copying files...
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 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


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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64 Responses

  1. me says:

    When you come again “GCC……

    cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
    tar xvf vmnet.tar
    cd vmnet-only
    cd ..
    tar xvf vmmon.tar
    cd vmmon-only
    cd ..
    mkdir /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc
    cp vmmon.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmmon.ko
    cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source
    cp vmnet.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/vmnet.ko
    depmod -a
    /etc/init.d/vmware restart

    Here to tell that you should to write on nano too
    nano /usr/bin/vmware
    add before set -e :

    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/vmware/lib/$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

    Save & exit and launch Vmware!

    But I have to write this , and VmWare have not start… , so, I have without it , and Vmware start without problem….

  2. me says:

    I think that often the problem come because people have a VmWare old kernel (old VmWare version), it making problem with new kernel from you Linux system, I think the best solution and this problem to prevent, download the last version from VmWare.

    sorry about my English.

  3. me says:

    Thanks!! I have it in Kali Linux 2017.1 install

  4. onomass says:

    Absolutely misleading title !!
    “How to Install VMware Workstation 12 on Linux Systems”
    Linux systems .. are all major gnu-linux distributions.
    The title of the article must be:
    “How to Install VMware Workstation 12 on RHEL, Debian and Derivatives”
    Otherwise you must also install Gentoo, Slackware, Archlinux, Aria-linux etc

  5. Andy says:

    Hi Ravi,

    First of all, thanks for this very nice step by step tutorial. For me as an absolute beginner it was clear and understandable and the installation process worked well.

    But I noticed a strange behavior which I don’t understand:

    I copied a VM (within VM I run Windows XP) which I once created in Windows environment to my Debian installation (which I run at the moment in a VM as well).

    When I started VM everything looked good, Windows XP logo appeared but before I was able to enter credentials VM was turned off automatically.

    Same with an another VM.

    I am not sure if it is clear for you what I mean.

    I would appreciate your help a lot.
    Thanks in advance

  6. drhardy84 says:

    It all worked like a charm; thanks much, guys!

  7. Nuel says:

    Hi Ravi, I installed VM Ware successfully but on running vmware in terminal I got vmware: command not found

  8. Adnan says:

    I followed your link but unable to start it.

    # /etc/init.d/vmware start
    Starting VMware services:
       Virtual machine monitor                                            failed
       Virtual machine communication interface                             done
       VM communication interface socket family                            done
       Blocking file system                                                done
       Virtual ethernet                                                   failed
       VMware Authentication Daemon                                        done
  9. Rod says:

    Had the same problem on a fresh Centos 7.3 install.
    Ran # yum upgrade, rebooted and it all suddenly worked.

  10. Hitendra katara says:

    I was not able to do so, still c header not found. What to do next

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