Virtualization is a technique, which allows the sharing of a single physical instance of a resource or an application among multiple customers and organizations. Virtualization solves the problem of underutilized hardware resources by creating a virtualization layer between the hardware components and the user. This creates virtual machines which are generally virtual computers that can run in multiples on a single set of hardware. Operating systems installed on the virtual machines are known as Guest Operating Systems.

VMware Tools

VMware Tools are a set of utilities that enable the performance and improve management of virtual machines. These tools eliminate the possibility of low video resolution, missing sound, inadequate color depth, and restricted movement of the mouse on virtual machines. They come in different formats; ISOs installers, Operating system Service Packages (OSPs), and Open VM Tools (OVT).

VMware Tool Components

  • VMware Service handles communication between host and guest OS. The program is called vmtoolsd.exe in windows, vmware-tools-daemon in macOS, and vmtoolsd in Linux systems.
  • VMware User Process which enables you to copy and paste.
  • VMware Device Drivers that smoothen mouse operations and avail shared folders feature.

Features include;

  • Optimized NIC and SCSI drivers
  • Enhanced graphic and mouse performance.
  • Take snapshots of the guest OS.
  • Synchronization of the clock using VMware Tools Service.
  • Better memory management.
  • Ability to shut down or restart the VM.
  • Scripts to automate guest system operations.

VirtualBox Guest Additions

VirtualBox is open-source, cross-platform virtualization software that enables developers to run multiple operating systems on a single device. It is a hypervisor that basically creates a virtual machine in which you can install an operating system.

VirtualBox Guest Additions consist of tools like device drivers and system applications that optimize the guest operating system for better performance and usability.

Features;

  • Seamless windows whereby an application on the guest OS opens as if it is actually on the Host OS.
  • Mouse Pinter Integration that moves the guest mouse accordingly.
  • Time synchronization of the Guest system with that of the host OS.
  • Better video support by resizing the virtual machine window.
  • Shared Clipboard between the host and guest operating systems.
  • Shared Folders features that allow folders residing at the host to be shared with the guest OS.
  • Drag and drop content from the host to the guest OS.
  • Automated Login credentials.

This guide will show you how to install VMware Tools and VirtualBox Guest Additions on KDE Neon|Kubuntu.

Install VMware Tools on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

Update your system packages

### Kubuntu ###
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

### KDE Neon ###
sudo apt update && sudo pkcon update -y

Option 1. Install open-vm-tools on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

On Kubuntu systems, the tools are automatically installed whilst installing the latest Kubuntu version. On KDE Neon, to install the tools, use the following command.

sudo apt install open-vm-tools

To upgrade the tools, use the following command.

sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop

Restart the virtual machine.

sudo reboot

Option 2. Install VMware tools Manually on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

When installing Kubuntu on VMware, the VMware tools are automatically installed with the operating system.

Go to the menu bar and select Virtual Machine > Install VMware Tools (or VM > Install VMware Tools). Some systems might prompt you to download the tools. Otherwise, click on Install when a question prompt window appears.

The following window opens. click on Mount and open

Then the following folder opens. Open via the terminal.

Extract the file to a different directory using the following command.

sudo tar xzvf VMwareTools-<VERSION>.tar.gz -C /tmp/

Install then restart the virtual machine.

cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl
sudo reboot

The installation prompts you for several options that involve the installation directory of the files. You can customize or press Enter to choose the default option. At the end of the installation it will prompt you to enable shared folders and the Drag n’ Drop feature.

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

On VirtualBox, both systems do not have guest additions when installed for the first time and follow through with the same procedure in installing the guest additions.

Install Dependencies Required for Guest Additions, open the terminal, and run the command below:-

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

Then on the window menu, click on Devices then select Insert Guest Additions CD Image.

This window opens. click on Mount and Open.

The folder with the disks opens as shown. Open it on the terminal.

Run the following command to install the guest additions.

sudo ./autorun.sh

Restart your system with the following command.

sudo reboot

Go to settings on the VM and enable the Shared Clipboard and Dran’n’Drop feature.

You can now change the display of the window automatically and use the drag and drop feature.

Conclusion

From this guide, we have gone through VMware Tools and VirtualBox Guest additions. They are one and the same concept only that they are different applications for the different software. We have seen how to install VMware Tools on KDE Neon|Kubuntu and also installed VirtualBox guest additions on Kubuntu|KDE Neon. Both tools provide a smooth transition between the host and guest systems without lag and improve the performance of the guest system.

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