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This procedure installs the open source version of VMware Tools (open-vm-tools) and then compiles and installs the HGFS driver which allows use of VMware's native shared folder support. It is specifically for use with the official CentOS Vagrant boxes published at


  • Most versions of VMware and Vagrant should work with these instructions. The latest version of the Vagrant VMware plugin should always be used.

Tested versions (MacOS)

Component Version
CentOS box 1809.01
VMware Fusion Pro 10.1.3
Vagrant 2.1.5
Vagrant VMware Desktop Plugin 2.0.0

Windows support

This procedure is no longer tested directly on a Windows host.

The steps have remained largely unchanged for several years, and are expected to remain valid until at least the next major release of RHEL/CentOS.

Host preparation

  • Copy the VMware Tools installer from the VMware application folder to the guest. The default locations for the installer are:
    • /Applications/VMware\ (MacOS)
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\linux.iso (Windows)
  • Use vagrant rsync (MacOS) or a SMB synced folder (Windows) to copy the iso into the guest's /vagrant directory

Commands to run within Vagrant guest

Update and reboot (if needed)

This is only required if the kernel has been updated since the box was released, so that the kernel-devel package matches the running kernel version

sudo yum -y update
vagrant reload # On host

Install the EPEL repository (CentOS 6 only)

sudo yum -y install epel-release

Install the open source tools package

This provides all VMware functionality except for the HGFS driver required for synced folders:

sudo yum -y install open-vm-tools

Install build dependencies

sudo yum -y install perl gcc fuse make kernel-devel net-tools policycoreutils-python

Mount the installer iso and extract it to /tmp

mkdir -p /tmp/vmware /tmp/vmware-archive
sudo mount -o loop /vagrant/linux.iso /tmp/vmware
TOOLS_PATH="`ls /tmp/vmware/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz`"
tar xzf ${TOOLS_PATH} -C /tmp/vmware-archive

Install VMware Tools

Both --force-install and --default are required to avoid prompting, as we have already installed open-vm-tools. See for more details:

sudo /tmp/vmware-archive/vmware-tools-distrib/ --force-install --default


sudo umount /tmp/vmware
rm -rf /tmp/vmware /tmp/vmware-archive /vagrant/*.iso
# linux.iso can also be removed from the host if still present (MacOS)

Create a new shared folder using VMware shared folders

It currently isn't possible to override the default rsync synced_folder for /vagrant (this is a known issue). As a workaround, use a different name for the mount point in the guest, by adding a line like this to the Vagrantfile before the final end:

config.vm.synced_folder ".", "/vagrant2"

Restart the VM and test

vagrant reload



Procedure to add VMware Tools to the official CentOS Vagrant boxes







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