SUSE Conversations

Installing VMware Tools the easy way – OSP



April 30, 2014 10:21 am





GPL v2


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:

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!

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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Tags: ,
Categories: Free Tools, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Technical Solutions

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.


  1. By:jrichter

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

  2. By:yacinemi

    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

    • By:mrlinux

      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.

  3. By:twslex3


    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).