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Receiving the following error:

Unable to update runtime folder sharing status: There was an error mounting Shared Folders file system inside the guest operating system.

Running VMWare Fusion 5.0.2 on OS X 10.6.8, guest OS is Ubuntu 12.10 with VMware Tools installed.

Have been unable to get to /mnt/hgfs at all, /mnt/ directory is blank. Turned Shared Folders off and then on in VMWare Fusion and received the above error.

Any thoughts what to do to fix this?

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I'm having the same issue with Mountain Lion. Same Fusion build and Ubuntu version. Grrr. –  Joshua Kaiser Dec 5 '12 at 21:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Some parts of VMWare Tools will silently fail to install unless they can compile a kernel extension. That requires a compiler and the generic headers for the current kernel, so install those:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

And then run

sudo vmware-config-tools.pl
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I ran into the same problem on Vmware fusion 4 a few days ago using Ubuntu 12.04 as guest (Mac OS 10.6.8 as host). The short answer (my solution, at least) is

  • DON'T install VMWare Fusion's supplied VMware tools; they don't work.
  • instead, use Ubuntu apt-get (or the Synaptic user interface) to install open-vm-tools, the open source version of the vmware tools. They DO work.
  • I had to manually mount my Shared Folders.

For example, if you have a shared folder called projects, do the following

sudo mkdir /mnt/hgfs
sudo mkdir /mnt/hgfs/projects
sudo mount -t vmhgfs .host:/projects /mnt/hgfs/projects

Once you've verified this works (ls /mnt/hgfs/projects), you can add the appropriate line to your fstab

.host:/projects /mnt/hgfs/projects vmhgfs defaults,ttl=5,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0

Background: I spent hours trying all the solutions and advice that people described on the web for getting Fusion's "Install vwmware tools" to support shared folders. As the previous poster said, this requires build-essential, kernel headers etc. but I had no success. Finally I started probing the kernel modules and saw that vmhgfs support was NOT being loaded. Then I looked carefully at what the vmware tools install script was doing, and saw buried in a slough of messages that the vmhgfs code had compile errors. Basically, vmware's code is broken on more recent linux kernel versions; apparently this has been going on for years. I am baffled; does this mean vmware hasn't fixed these problems (or at least the latest ones)? Or does it mean vmware fusion 4 just keeps using an old version of the vmware install tools code? The thing that's really annoying is the vmware tools install reports successful installation; you really have to dig through its avalanche of messages to realize that there might be a problem with vmhgfs support. As far as I can see, the vmware tools install method is the worst of both worlds: on the one hand it requires compiling a bunch of source code, so it exposes you to all the fragility and total lack of transparency of that process; on the other hand, it tries to be an "automagic" installer, which is only OK if "it just works". Instead it fails silently and leaves you with a system that doesn't work and no usable information about where to start trying to fix it. Thank god for open source and the inclusion of open-vm-tools in the Ubuntu package manager. It works great.

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Thanks. Uninstalling vmware's tools then using these instructions got it working for me on OSX host and Ubuntu 13.04 guest. –  Jeff Allen Aug 21 '13 at 19:48

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