Installing VMware Tools the easy way – OSP


VMware tools are an absolute must for SLES virtualised on VMware platforms. Normally, we have to rely on the VMware administrator installing the tools for us, and the standard tools are not rpm based so it can be difficult to maintain or to see which version is installed.

Thankfully, VMware have a very elegant solution to this problem – the Operating System Specific Packages (OSP – nope, I don’t know where the second S went either) from here:

Update: VMware only release OSP tools for distros that do not contain the open-vm-tools package.  Both SLES 11 SP4 and SLE 12 contain this package, and so I have added logic to the script to detect these versions, uninstall the OSP tools if necessary (e.g after SLES11 SP4 upgrade), and install open-vm-tools.

Although it’s relatively easy to follow the docs, it can be tedious!  So, what does any decent Linux administrator do when faced with a repetitive, boring task??  Yep, write a script!  So, I am now sharing with you a script that I have been developing since 2011 that installs the OSP tools for you.

The highlights of the script are as follows:

  • Support for SLES 10 up to SP4
  • Support for SLES/SLED 11 up to SP3
  • Automatic SLE version/architecture detection
  • Automatic Hypervisor version detection (as long as dmidecode is installed)
  • Command line options allowing you to specify ESXi version
  • Automatic uninstall of old tools (ancient rpm and recent tar based versions)
  • Uses your proxy server if configured

Version highlights:

  • v1.8: The script can be used to upgrade the OSP tools after a SLE service pack has been applied
  • v1.9: Removed the workaround for SLES 11 SP3 now that VMware’s repos have been updated
  • v1.9: Added SLES 12 detection.  At this point there are no OSP tools for SLE 12, so the script installs the open-vm-tools package from the standard media instead.
  • v1.10: Split package deletion and repo deletion into separate actions as some Service Pack upgrades remove the OSP packages but leave the old repo lying around!
  • v1.11: Detect versions that will never have OSP tools (SLES11 SP4, and SLE 12).  Remove OSP tools for these versions and install open-vm-tools instead
  • v1.12: Re-instate OSP tools for SLES11 SP4
    Fix URL for SLES11 to use sp instead of .
    Fix key download url to use HTTPS

Of course, I will continue to update the script as SUSE or VMware release new versions.  If you have any feedback please leave comments below.


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  • jrichter says:

    Thank you, the script works to me on SLES 11 SP3. Now I can see “3rd party VMWare tool running” on virtual in vCenter.

  • yacinemi says:

    doesn’t work with SLES 12
    cant copy/paste from guest to host
    is there any update available ?

    Host: Windows 8.1 pro Guest 1: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12

    • mrlinux says:

      SLES 12 includes the open-vm-tools package, and VMware’s stance is that they won’t produce OSP tools for distributions that ship open-vm-tools.
      I have updated the script to identify SLES 12 and install the open-vm-tools package instead of the OSP packages.

  • twslex3 says:


    Small addition, if the repo could not be added the script should opt out:

    Using zypper to add the repo and subscribe to it
    System management is locked by the application with pid 6304 (y2base).
    Close this application before trying again.
    System management is locked by the application with pid 6304 (y2base).

  • awazelit says:

    hello MrLinux
    nice tool but i got repo error. im using SLES 11 SP3
    the link generated is
    where when i navigate i found it to be
    i dont know how to write a bash file so i thought report it to you

  • RogerIThomas says:

    Nice script.

    The one limitation seems to be that vmware have not (yet!) released tools for sles11 sp4. The script does try its best to handle sp4, but without vmware’s support there is not a lot that can be done.

    • mrlinux says:

      Thanks Roger!

      I am in the process of updating the script to handle SLES11 SP4 and SLES 12 properly. These versions will never have OSP tools because they already contain the open-vm-tools package. VMware state that OSP tools repos will not be built for any distro containing open-vm-tools. Shame really…

  • ndecken says:

    Hi Marc,
    it seems that VMWare changed the directory structure. It’s now sles11sp3 and not longer sles11.3 in the URL.
    I’ve changed line 90 from
    and it works like a charm.
    Best regards from Aachen

    • mrlinux says:

      Hi Nico.

      It does indeed look like they have changed the structure, but only for vSphere 6 (and latest of course). I will need to add some logic to build the path based on ESX version as well now. Your workaround looks good…

      Say hi to everyone from me!


  • ChrisC30A says:


    Is this still updated?

    I got the same error as above so updated with the same url as suggested and got to the next point where i got a certificate error from the xml file on VMware website.

    Please help.

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