open-vm-tools updated

In January 2014 the open-vm-tools package was orphaned and I took the chance to take over the maintenance. Unfortunately the package is still not 100% in the shape I’d like to see it, but I’m getting closer. I have to say Thank You for a lot of good bug reports, especially for those use cases which are hard to test/reproduce for me (running Debian in a Windows-based VMware Workstation Player for example….).

At conova communications GmbH, the company I work for, we are using the package on all of our Debian VMs, both for customer and internal use. It is essential for us to have properly working open-vm-tools - not only to be able to shutdown the VM from VMware vCenter, but also because tools like vSphere Data Protection and Veeam depend on it. Good thing is that I can work on and test the package at work and breakages are detected early and fast normally.

Getting a good contact to the VMware upstream was easy and the developers there are helpful and reply pretty fast to their emails. Also as it seems there are finally “real” commits showing up in the open-vm-tools github repository again, not only huge single commits with a full release. It is not only nice to see that they are moving into the right direction again, but also this is really helpful in fixing (urgent) bugs before the next release of open-vm-tools - or to backport a fix to the versoin in stable/oldstable.

Since a few days we have open-vm-tools 10.0.5-3227872 in

  • testing & unstable
  • jessie-backports
  • wheezy-backports-sloppy

If you are using VMware ESX 5.5 or newer, you should upgrade to the backports versions. Same if you use a recent VMware player version.

Please note that since 10.0.0 the open-vm-dkms package is only necessary if you need the legacy vmxnet module. This is only the case if you are using very old VM hardware versions. vmxnet3 is shipped in the Debian kernel, so you don’t need to compile extra modules to use it. The vmhgfs module was replaced by a fuse-based implementation.

If you’d like to help maintaining the package, please send bugs/patches via the Debian BTS or even better - send pull requests for pkg-open-vm-tools. The repository is mirrored to in case you want to avoid github.

Bernd Zeimetz

Debian Developer | Senior Linux Systems Engineer & Consultant

Salzburg, Austria