[root tip] Installing VMware on Manjaro

VMware Workstation and Player

VMware is a commercially developed application with a limited list of supported operating systems.

This guide is a courtesy to the forum don’t expect any support on VMware related issues.

Supported operating systems

Version 16 - Expand this to se the list and link to VMware KB

VMware Knowledge Base

OS Vendor OS Release Workstation 16.0
Canonical Ubuntu 20.04 Yes
Canonical Ubuntu 18.04 Yes
Canonical Ubuntu 16.04 Yes
Linux Mint 20 Yes
Centos CentOS 8.x Yes
Centos CentOS 7.x Yes
Debian Debian 10.x Yes
Debian Debian 9.x Yes
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Yes
Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Yes
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Yes
Microsoft Windows 10 Yes
Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Update 3 Yes
Red Hat Fedora 32 Yes
Red Hat Fedora 31 Yes
Red Hat Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.x Yes
Red Hat Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x Yes
SUSE SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.x Yes
SUSE SUSE Linux Enterprise Server/Desktop 12 SP3 Yes
SUSE openSUSE 15.x Yes

If you install it manually - using the download provided from VMware - you will most likely run into library incompatibilities and you will need to compile the kernel modules by hand and this you will have to do with every subsequent kernel update.

You could be that bravehearted fearless Linux user who do not fear the depths of the kernel modules subtree and do not fear the patches you need to apply to get it working with Manjaro - and in this case - just dive in …

Disclaimer

As you have seen - Archlinux and derivatives are unsupported platforms for running VMware products and as such it is unsupported on Manjaro.

So while it is possible to install and run VMware on Manjaro - do not expect support on configuration of virtual machines or system issues arising from your VMware installation. You must have the required level of troubleshooting skills to solve these when they arise - and they will.

  • If you need help configuring vmware virtual machines
    • consult the VMware documentation.
  • If you need help troubleshooting installation issues
    • use the comment section for the AUR PKGBUILD
    • Manjaro uses different kernels than Arch

How to install VMware

To install vmware on Manjaro you will have to resort to a PKGBUILD script.

There is a lot of AUR helpers and they all mimic what you should do manually - the Arch way is usually the best way.

Important kernel precaution

The AUR PKGBUILD is created for Archlinux and therefore the kernel headers dependency must be solved manually on Manjaro. Archlinux only have two kernel versions - linux and linux-lts.

Archlinux kernels follow the release schedule on kernel.org and on Manjaro you will need to use the same kernel version.

2021-09-13T05:00:00Z

  • Linux 5.10.x (LTS)
  • Linux 5.14.x (stable)

Using other kernels - like 5.4LTS - will most likely fail.

Building steps

  1. Update your system and Install the necessary build tools
    sudo pacman -Syu git base-devel --needed
    
  2. Then check your kernel version(s) - example - remember to use the same version as Arch
     mhwd-kernel -li
    Currently running: 5.14.2-1-MANJARO (linux514)
    The following kernels are installed in your system:
       * linux510
       * linux514
    
  3. Then install the headers for your kernel(s) and dkms (use the kernels listed from your system)
    sudo pacman -Syu $KERNELXYY-headers dkms
    
  4. Clone the PKGBUILKD script
    ➜  ~ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/vmware-workstation.git
    Cloning into 'vmware-workstation'...
    remote: Enumerating objects: 498, done.
    remote: Counting objects: 100% (498/498), done.
    remote: Compressing objects: 100% (239/239), done.
    remote: Total 498 (delta 307), reused 439 (delta 258), pack-reused 0
    Receiving objects: 100% (498/498), 256.62 KiB | 3.21 MiB/s, done.
    Resolving deltas: 100% (307/307), done.
    
  5. Familiarize yourself with the content - it is all text files and you should read them and verify what they are doing.
    ls ~/vmware-workstation
    
  6. When you are satisfied - cd into the folder and run makepkg to install dependencies, build and install the package.
    cd ~/vmware-workstation
    makepkg -is
    

The installer will write messages in the terminal on what to do next - follow the directions to load the kernel modules and enable vmware network service and usb service as needed.

sudo modprobe -a vmw_vmci vmmon

Optional services

There are three services which you can opt to enable:

  • vmware-networks.service:
    • Provides network access inside VMs, most people will want this enabled
  • vmware-usbarbitrator.service:
    • Allows USB devices to be connected inside VMs
  • vmware-hostd.service:
    • Enables sharing of VMs on the network

To start and enable vmware network (usually needed)

sudo systemctl enable --now vmware-networks.service

To start and enable usb passthrough (useful at some point)

sudo systemctl enable --now vmware-usbarbitrator.service

To start and enable the sharing of a virtual machine (rarely needed)

sudo systemctl enable --now vmware-hostd.service

Because the resulting build is using dkms - you won’t have to rebuild the kernel modules on system update - dkms will take care of this.

Enjoy - while it lasts - some members has run VMware for years with only minor issues - you may be a lucky one too :partying_face:

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