Shared Folders on Linux Guest OS in VMware (Fusion/Workstation/Player)

Having VMs running around you will eventually need to pass some files between your host and guest OSes. This could be achieved in a number of ways, one of which (and the most convenient long term in my opinion) is to have a shared folder between the host and the guest.

This writeup was compiled on Mac running Sierra thus VMware Fusion was used. However basically the same steps could be applied to Player or Workstation running on Windows as a host OS. Here is the version I used specifically:

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0. You are working with VMware, not VirtualBox, keep that in mind

Believe it or not but because I was so used to VirtualBox, first of all I installed “VirtualBox Guest Additions” for Linux guest OS and was wondering why the damned thing does not work. Spent quite some time until it hit me that I was trying to load VirtualBox stuff on VM that is being run by VMware…

1. Make sure OpenVM packages are not installed

You would need tools from VMware in order to have shared folders functionality, I learned it the hard way so you don’t have to. OpenVM does not support file system for mounting VMware shared folders.

Make sure this package is not installed on your guest Linux OS:
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2. Install VMware Tools

Select your VM from Virtual Machines Library and use VMware menu item called “Virtual Machine”, you will see “Install VMware Tools” or “Reinstall VMware Tools” there, click on it.
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Please note that it has to be done while VM is running.

Almost immediately you should see VMware Tools CD image being mounted inside your guest Linux OS:
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See the tar.gz archive there? You should copy it somewhere, for example to Downloads folder in your home dir and unpack. Once you’re done unpacking, please run vmware-install.pl as superuser.
Restart your guest OS.

3. Create a folder on host OS and share it with VM

You could create a folder anywhere you can write to on your host filesystem. Then go to VM settings->Sharing, enable folder sharing and browse to your newly created folder. To make sharing as painless as possible please refrain from using spaces in shared folder name.
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4. Enjoy the fruits of your labour

/mnt/hgfs on your guest should contain the shared folder now:
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