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VMWare Workstation autostart vmware-user

I didn’t find this solution anywhere on the internet, so I figured I’d post it here, even if only for the next time I need it.

I have a copy of VMWare Workstation 10 that I use on a Windows laptop at work to run Ubuntu. In general, it works quite well - it does certain things faster than VirtualBox, and has a few key features I need for work. However, every time I have to re-install the vmware additions, it forgets how to automatically run the vmware-user binary at login. This program, for those who are unfamiliar, turns on a bunch of the VMWare extras, such as making sure that it knows when to resize the screen (e.g. when I maximize Linux to full-screen), among other things.

Now, sure, this program can be run by hand (as root), but it’s the principle of the thing.

The trick, as it turns out, is permissions. This program needs to be run by root, so it’s actually a link to a setuid binary in /usr/lib/vmware-tools/bin64. All the files in /usr/lib/vmware-tools/ are installed, for whatever reason, with the wrong permissions. The following set of commands will fix it:

sudo find /usr/lib/vmware-tools/ -type d -exec chmod o+rx {} \;
sudo find /usr/lib/vmware-tools/ -type f -perm -g+rx ! -perm -o+rx -exec chmod o+rx {} \;
sudo find /usr/lib/vmware-tools/ -type f -perm -g+r ! -perm -o+r -exec chmod o+r {} \;

But that’s not enough! There’s another directory that’s been installed improperly: /etc/vmware-tools/! I’m less confident about blanket making the contents of this directory readable by ordinary users, but the following two commands seemed to be enough to make things work:

sudo chmod go+r /etc/vmware-tools/vmware-tools*
sudo chmod go+r /etc/vmware-tools/vmware-user.*

Hopefully, that helps someone other than just me.


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