How to Install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu

In this article, we will install VMware Workstation 16 Pro virtualization software that allows you to create virtual machines and install various operating systems on Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla).

How to Install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu

How to Install VMware Workstation 16 (16.1.0) on Ubuntu 20.10

As you know, VMware Workstation is the most popular virtualization program and this software runs on Microsoft Windows operating systems as well as on all Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.

Since installing VMware on the Windows 10 platform consists of only a few steps, the operations you will do are simple, but although the installation process on Linux-based systems is simple, in some cases you may need to install dependent packages.

With VMware Workstation, you can create virtual machines and run multiple virtual computers on your computer at the same time. Also, this virtualization program is not open source and free, but you can purchase it after a 30-day free trial period.

VMware Pro Download and Installation

First of all, if you are using both Windows and Ubuntu with dual boot configuration on your computer, do not install them directly on your living system whenever new versions of this virtualization software or other 3rd party software are released. First, install Ubuntu on a virtual machine, and then we recommend that you install new versions of related programs and check system compatibility on your living system.

Now, let’s install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu and test its operability.

   Step 1

To download VMware for Linux, visit https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-pro/workstation-pro-evaluation.html and click “Download Now” to start the download process as in the image below.

Downloading Workstation Software

   Step 2

The VMwarePro.bundle file you download will be downloaded to the Downloads location, so copy or move that file to the desktop location. The purpose of doing this is, as you can see in the images in our article, we will operate from the Desktop location.

After downloading the setup file with bundle extension, execute the sudo apt update and then the sudo apt upgrade command in the terminal to update the package list of the applications and components installed on your system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Save Bundle File to Computer

   Step 3

You can easily download the Workstation software via web browser from the VMware official website as in Step 1. You can also do this with a single command on the terminal.

wget https://download3.vmware.com/software/wkst/file/VMware-Workstation-Full-16.1.0-17198959.x86_64.bundle

Downloading Workstation Software with Terminal

   Step 4

After downloading the VMware virtual machine software to the desktop location, execute the following command in the terminal to configure the executable permissions of the file.

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-16.1.0-17198959.x86_64.bundle

Configuring the Permission Settings of the Bundle File

   Step 5

Now you need to use the command “sudo ./ + (FileName)” to start installing the Workstation software through the terminal. In this case, when you type only the initials of the downloaded file next to the “sudo ./” command and press the Tab key, the corresponding file name in that location will automatically appear in the terminal.

sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-16.1.0-17198959.x86_64.bundle

Installing Bundle Extension File in Ubuntu

   Step 6

After the installation is complete, find the VMware Workstation program from the Show Applications section and run it. You can also see that Virtual Network Editor and VMware Player software have been installed after the installation.

Running VMware Pro

   Step 7

When you encounter the VMware Kernel Module Updater window, you can understand that the related software needs some dependent packages. You can see that the GCC / GNU C Compiler (gcc) package in this window is not installed on the system. In this step, click the Cancel button to close the Kernel Module window and go to the next step.

VMware Kernel Module Updater

   Step 8

Now run the sudo apt install build-essential command to fix the GNU C Compiler error and install the dependent packages required to run the virtual machine program. Next, check the dependent packages from the image below and press the Y key and then the Enter key to continue the installation.

sudo apt install build-essential

sudo apt install build-essential

   Step 9

After downloading and installing the necessary packages, now when you run VMware Pro again, you will see the following warning this time. In this case, click the Install button to install the necessary modules in the running kernel.

VMware Kernel Module Updater

   Step 10

Wait while the kernel modules are compiled and loaded and do not cancel the process.

Compiling and Installing Kernel Modules

   Step 11

After a few modules have been compiled in the kernel, the VMware End User License Agreement window will automatically appear. Now, read the license terms provided by VMware and select “I accept the terms in the license agreement” and click the Next button to accept.

Accepting the License Agreement

   Step 12

Also, accept the OVF Tool component for the Linux license agreement and click on the Next button.

Accepting the OVT Tools License Agreement

   Step 13

If you want the virtual machine software to check for updates at system startup, select Yes and click Next.

Checking for Updates at Startup

   Step 14

Select Yes to confirm participation in the VMware customer experience program, and then click Next.

Participating in the Customer Experience Program

   Step 15

If you purchased the program for Linux, enter your license key. If you want to use the virtualization program for free for 30 days and try it, select “I want to try VMware Workstation 16 for 30 days” and click Finish.

Use Virtual Machine Program Free for 30 Days

   Step 16

After successfully installing VMware Pro software, you can now install and test new or old versions of Windows, Linux, or macOS operating systems on your host computer.

Main Working Screen of Virtual Machine Program

   Video

Installing Old Versions of Workstation Pro

Ubuntu
VMware Workstation
YouTube Video
Slide
17.04
14 Pro
17.10
14 Pro
18.04
14 Pro
18.10
14 Pro
18.10
15 Pro

Possible Installation Errors

   Unable to copy the user’s Xauthorization File Error

This error usually appeared when installing on Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 versions. To eliminate the xauthorization error, execute the following commands in the terminal and try to open the VM again.

touch ~/.Xauthority
chmod 600 ~/.Xauthority

   GCC7 Error

The GCC7 error appeared during the installation phase of Ubuntu versions 18.04 or 18.10. To fix this error, it will be enough to execute the following command on the terminal.

sudo apt install gcc-7

   Final Word


In this article, we have installed the VM Workstation program that allows you to run Windows, Linux, and even macOS on a virtual machine on Linux / Ubuntu. After installing a system on the virtual machine, do not forget to install VMware Tools. Thanks for following us!

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar for Ahmed Majid Ahmed Majid 30 November 2017

    Thanks for the tutorial, its helped alot

    Reply
  2. Avatar for c c 2 March 2018

    Thanks for the tip on the Xauthority file!!!

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 3 March 2018

      You’re welcome! Very thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  3. Avatar for SERAJ AHMAD SERAJ AHMAD 11 March 2018

    Thank you for the help on Xauthorization tip sir. But now I am unable to open the License key Page in order to activate the VMWare

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 11 March 2018

      You’re welcome, Seraj Ahmad! To resolve the key page error of VMware Workstation, open the terminal and switch to root access. After that, execute the vmware command.

      Reply
  4. Avatar for SERAJ AHMAD SERAJ AHMAD 13 March 2018

    Thank you for your reply sir. But when I tried I got this Error message
    seraj@seraj-Inspiron-3537:~$ sudo -i
    root@seraj-Inspiron-3537:~# vmware
    No protocol specified
    xcb_connection_has_error() returned true
    No protocol specified
    xcb_connection_has_error() returned true
    No protocol specified

    ** (vmware-modconfig:12139): WARNING **: Could not open X display
    No protocol specified

    (vmware-modconfig:12139): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display: :0
    .

    Reply
  5. Avatar for Gabriel Gabriel 1 April 2018

    Really thanks for the post !

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 1 April 2018

      You’re welcome Gabriel! Also thank you for your comment!

      Reply

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