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This article is about installing VMware in Arch, you may also be interested in Installing Arch Linux in VMware.

Note: This article supports only the latest major VMware versions, meaning VMware Workstation 8 and VMware Player 4


Note: VMware Workstation/Player will not be manageable with pacman as the files are not installed with it.

1. Download the latest VMware Workstation or VMware Player (you may also try the testing (Beta/RC) versions).

2. Start the installation (--console uses terminal instead of the GUI):

# chmod +x VMware-<edition>-<version>.<release>.<architecture>.bundle
# ./VMware-<edition>-<version>.<release>.<architecture>.bundle --console

3. Read & accept the EULA to continue.

4. Set System service scripts to:


5. (Optional) If Eclipse is installed, enter the directory path to the Integrated Virtual Debugger.

6. You will now get an error about the "rc*.d style init script" not being set. This can, however, be safely ignored.

7. Create links for the daemons:

# ln -s /etc/init.d/vmware /etc/rc.d/vmware
# ln -s /etc/init.d/vmware-workstation-server /etc/rc.d/vmware-workstation-server


Module tool paths

Note: As of kmod 5-2 the locations of lsmod, modinfo, etc. have changed from /bin/ to /usr/bin/.

8. To make use of the module tools of updated kmod you need to either change the binary paths of all the *mod* stuff (excluding modprobe) in /etc/rc.d/vmware and /usr/bin/vmware from /sbin/ to /usr/bin/. For VMware Workstation, do:

# sed -i "s|/sbin/|/usr/bin/|g" /etc/rc.d/vmware
# sed -i "s|/usr/bin/modprobe|/sbin/modprobe|g" /etc/rc.d/vmware
# sed -i "s|/sbin/|/usr/bin/|g" /usr/bin/vmware

with VMware Player the second line needs to be:

# sed -i "s|/sbin/|/usr/bin/|g" /usr/bin/vmplayer

Or create symlinks with:

# for i in {ins,ls,rm}mod modinfo; do ln -s /usr/bin/$i /sbin/$i; done

VMware module patches and installation

VMware Workstation 8 and Player 4 only support kernels up to 3.0. Any later requires patching of the VMware modules. These patches will also install the modules afterwards by executing vmware-modconfig --console --install-all.

Tip: There is also a package called vmware-patchAUR in the AUR with the intention of trying to automate the patching process (it also supports older VMware versions).

3.2 kernels

The patch for 3.2 kernels is available here and here:

$ cd /tmp
$ curl -O http://weltall.heliohost.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz
$ tar -xvf vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz
# ./patch-modules_3.2.0.sh

The patches for older VMware Workstation 8 and Player 4 versions can be found here and here.

3.1 kernels

The patch for 3.1 kernels is available here:

$ cd /tmp
$ curl -O http://weltall.heliohost.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/vmware8linux31fix.tar.gz
$ tar -xvf vmware8linux31fix.tar.gz
# ./patch-modules_3.1.0.sh

Finishing up

9. (Optional) Add vmware to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf so that the service is started automatically on boot.

10. Now, open your VMware Workstation (vmware in the console) or VMware Player (vmplayer in the console) to configure & use!

Warning: When upgrading the kernel you will have to rebuild the VMware modules with the following command:
# vmware-modconfig --console --install-all
Failure to do so may result in a system crash upon powering up virtual machines.

Tips & Tricks

Extracting the VMware BIOS

To extract the VMware BIOS, which can be manipulated and later used with your virtual machines:

$ objcopy /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -O binary -j bios440 --set-section-flags bios440=a bios440.rom.Z
$ perl -e 'use Compress::Zlib; my $v; read STDIN, $v, '$(stat -c%s "./bios440.rom.Z")'; $v = uncompress($v); print $v;' < bios440.rom.Z > bios440.rom

Using the modified BIOS

If and when you decide to modify the extracted BIOS you can make your virtual machine use it by moving it to ~/vmware/<Virtual machine name>:

$ mv bios440.rom ~/vmware/<Virtual machine name>/

then adding the name to the <Virtual machine name>.vmx file:

~/vmware/<Virtual machine name>/<Virtual machine name>.vmx
bios440.filename = "bios440.rom"


Could not open /dev/vmmon: No such file or directory.

The full error is:

Could not open /dev/vmmon: No such file or directory.
Please make sure that the kernel module `vmmon' is loaded.

This means that at least the vmmon VMware service is not running. All VMware services can be started with:

# rc.d start vmware

Kernel headers for version 3.x-xxxx were not found. If you installed them[...]

Install them with:

# pacman -S linux-headers

Ensure you have the same version headers as installed kernel. This may require a pacman -Syuu If the kernel, and thus headers, have been upgraded since you installed your kernel just installing linux-headers won't satisfy the dependency due to version mismatch.

The installer fails to start

If you just get back to the prompt when opening the .bundle, then you probably have an old version of the VMware installer and you should remove it (you may also refer to the uninstallation section of this article):

# rm -r /etc/vmware-installer

USB devices not recognized by VMware workstation 8

For some reason, some installations are missing the vmware-USBArbitrator script. To readd it manually see this forum post.


To uninstall VMware you need the product name (either vmware-workstation or vmware-player). To list all the installed products:

# vmware-installer -l

and uninstall with:

# vmware-installer -u <vmware-product>

Manually included symlinks have to be removed manually in /etc/rc.d/:

# unlink /etc/rc.d/vmware
# unlink /etc/rc.d/vmware-workstation-server

and /sbin/:

# for i in {ins,ls,rm}mod modinfo; do unlink /sbin/$i; done

Remember to also remove vmware from the /etc/rc.conf DAEMONS array.