Often when managing a large number of systems you want to manage all software installs the same way. So when it comes to VMware Tools you may not want to follow the official instructions but instead install using yum, especially if you’re automating a large number of headless systems.
VMware makes their tools available via a web hosted yum repository, however this means you must also update the tools using yum. You server will show the tools status in vCenter as “Running (3rd-party/Independant)” and you will not be able to specify the “Update on boot” option in your vm settings.
First we must add VMware’s repository. Create a new repository file with your text editor (we’ll use vi for now)
and add the following content
[vmware-tools] name=VMware Tools for Red Hat Enterprise Linux $releasever - $basearch baseurl=http://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/latest/rhel6/$basearch enabled=1 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=http://packages.vmware.com/tools/keys/VMWARE-PACKAGING-GPG-RSA-KEY.pub
Once you’ve done this you can simply install the headless version of the tools (no X) with this simple command. You’ll need to accept the installation of the GPG key.
yum install vmware-tools-esx-nox
Updating VMware Tools
From now on if you need to update VMware Tools you can simply run
yum update vmware-tools-esx-nox
or as part of a regular yum update.
Removing VMware Tools
If you change your mind and want to remove VMware Tools or switch back to the tar and perl scripts method of installing VMware Tools simply run the following command to remove them.
yum remove vmware-tools-esx-nox