Since I’ve wasted way too much time with this problem, I thought I’d share how I solved it…
But first the problem:
I wanted to install the vmware tools in a Debian Squeeze virtual machine. So I chose Install VMWare Tools in VMWare Workstation. Then mounted the CD:
Unpacked the tools to the /tmp directory:
cd /tmp tar xvfz /media/cdrom0/VMwareTools-8.8.4-743747.tar.gz
I then started the tools installation:
cd vmware-tools-distrib/ ./vmware-install.pl
Most of it went fine but I reached the point where the installer looks for gcc and got the following message:
Searching for GCC... The path "" is not valid path to the gcc binary. Would you like to change it? [yes]
I said yes, looked for the path to gcc and saw it wasn’t installed. So I stopped the installer and installed gcc:
# apt-get install gcc
I restarted the installer and same problem… I now checked the path to gcc:
# which gcc /usr/bin/gcc
And entered it at the prompt:
What is the location of the gcc program on your machine? /usr/bin/gcc The path "/usr/bin/gcc" is not valid path to the gcc binary. Would you like to change it? [yes]
So gcc is now there but somehow the tools installer doesn’t like it.
After googling for ages, I ended up installing the following packages:
Of course if you have another kernel, you should install the appropriate version of the Linux kernel headers. You can install it all like this:
aptitude install make gcc-4.3 linux-headers-`uname -r` libglib2.0-0
gcc-4.3 is required and not the version 4.4 which got installed when I ran apt-get install gcc because it’s the version which was used to compile the kernel. You can check this on your system using:
# cat /proc/version Linux version 2.6.32-5-amd64 (Debian 2.6.32-45) (email@example.com) (gcc version 4.3.5 (Debian 4.3.5-4) ) #1 SMP Sun May 6 04:00:17 UTC 2012
After that the installation of the vmware tools was at last successful.
I’m not 100% sure that all 4 packages are needed but in the end after installing all 4 it worked and I really don’t want to test the different combination with 3 packages to see whether I could have installed one package less.