How to get a guest Debian 8 VM’s desktop to resize to match VMWare’s window.


sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

When attempting to install the VMWare Tools on Debian 8, one is greeted with following message:

It is recommended to use the open-vm-tools packages provided by the operating system

But unfortunately, open-vm-tools don’t provide the vm-user binary that provides the integration with X.

If you choose to ignore the recommendation, and install VMWare’s integration tools, there is no vm-user binary either, unlike on Debian Wheezy.

The fix is a very easy one, but googling "Debian 8" "vmware-user" didn’t tell me it:

open-vm-tools has the Desktop integration as a separate package, which you need to install:

open-vm-tools-desktop package

This optional package extends OVT with additional user-space programs and libraries to improve the interactive functionality of virtual machines. This package depends on X and therefore must be installed only when X is available. These features are enabled by this package:

  • Enables resizing of the guest display to match host console window or the VMware Remote Console Window for vSphere
  • Enables text copy and paste operation between host and guest UI (either direction)
  • Enables drag and drop operation between guest and host (either direction) for the VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion products (not supported on vSphere)

Maybe, someone stumbles upon this and saves some time.