Manually or Automatically Upload VMware Tools in vCenter Server

VMware Tool enables efficient features in various VMware products for better management and seamless user interactions with guest operating systems. Today’s article covers how to install and upgrade VMware tools manually and automatically.


By Crystal / Updated on March 10, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Install and Upload VMware tools to vCenter

VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine’s guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine.

Although the guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, many VMware features are not available until you install VMware Tools. For example, if you do not have VMware Tools installed in your virtual machine, you cannot interact with the Guest OS to perform a graceful / clean shutdown or restart. This means you can only use the VM power options to perform a hard power off or power on of the virtual machine from the toolbar.

We have discussed how to install the VMware Tools, so today’s article will describe how to upload your VMware Tools to vCenter Server.

uploading vmware tools to vcenter

Prerequisites for Uploading VMware Tools in vCenter

  • Power on the virtual machine.
  • Verify that the guest operating system is running.
  • Determine if you have the latest version of VMware Tools by viewing the status of the virtual machine.
  • User must have administrative privileges.

How to Manually Upgrade VMware Tools in vCenter Virtual Machine

To upgrade VMware Tools to vCenter manually:

1. Start the vSphere Web Client and log in to the vCenter Server. In Hosts and Clusters view, select the host, cluster, or datacenter and click the Virtual Machines tab.

2. Power on the virtual machines to upgrade.

3. Right-click the selected virtual machines and click Guest OS > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools and click OK.

select upgrade vmware tools

4. Select Interactive Upgrade or Automatic Upgrade, and click Upgrade.

select interactive upgrade

5. If you chose the interactive upgrade for a virtual machine with a Linux guest operating system, reboot the operating system by running the “reboot” command from a command-line prompt so that you can use the new network modules.

✍ Note: To specify any MSI arguments or to specify which VMware Tools components to exclude, add the same arguments and options that you would for the setup.exe program in the Advanced text box.

How to Automate the Upload of VMware Tools in vCenter Server

Automatic VMware Tools upgrade is supported only for virtual machines with Windows guest operating system. For optimum performance, upgrade VMware Tools in not more than five virtual machines simultaneously.

✍ Note: In order to automate the upgrade of VMware Tools in multiple Windows virtual machines, VMware Tools can be upgraded using vSphere PowerCLI, vSphere API and other methods.

To automate the upgrade of VMware Tools in Windows virtual machines:

1. Select Automatic Tools Upgrade.

2. (Optional) In the Advanced Options text box, enter advanced options for the Windows or Linux guest operating systems

☛ For the Windows guest operating system:

  • Enter /s /v "/qn" /l "Microsoft_Windows_location\filename.log" to perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools and create a log file in the specified location on the guest operating system.

☛ For the Linux guest operating system:

  • Enter --default to perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools and install the bin, lib, and doc files in the default /usr directory.

This is the default behavior.

  • Enter --prefix=binary_location,lib_location,doc_location to perform a silent upgrade of VMware Tools and install thebin, lib, and doc files in the specified locations.

3. Click OK.

Virtual machine has upgraded version of VMware Tools.

Important: Protect VMs Managed by vCenter Server

If you own multiple vCenter Servers or virtual machines in hand, don't forget the importance of backup. vCenter backup helps to achieve data protection, fast recovery, and saves the storage space. To offer complete VM protection, many IT staff prefer a specialized backup software such as AOMEI Cyber Backup, a VMware backup software, which is professional and reliable for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machine backup.

With it, you can add VMs managed by vCenter Servers or standalone ESXi hosts (including free ESXi) to a central web console. Its simplicity makes it possible for even novices to configure ESXi or vCenter backups with several clicks.

AOMEI Cyber Backup can be installed on Windows and Linux systems, and works with VMware ESXi 6.0 and above versions (as well as Hyper-V servers). Here are some more benefits:

Backup in batch: Backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server or standalone ESXi host at once.
Hot backup: Simply backup VMware VMs while running. No need to suspend operations and ongoing access.
Automation: Create VMware backup schedule to automate VM protection, and enable retention policy to auto delete old backup files.
Restore to new location: Besides in-place recovery, you can restore a VM to new location in the same or another datastore/host/vCenter for migration or cloning.
Flexible backup method: Besides full backup, it offers incremental/differential mode to auto track changed data.
Email notification: Send email notification when the task is completed or abnormal.

You can click the following button to download the software.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

Automate Backup of multiple VMs with AOMEI Cyber Backup

Next, I will show you how to back up VMs managed by vCenter Server with AOMEI Cyber Backup in 4 simple steps

1. Navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click  > Bind Device.

bind device

2. Create backup task by hitting Backup Task > Create New Task. Follow the Wizard to schedule VM backup.

VMware ESXi backup

  • You can select as many VMs as you need to back them up at once.
  • Schedule daily/weekly/monthly VMware backup with different backup strategies, such as full backup for the entire VM and incremental backup for the changed data.
  • Set up backup cleanup to auto delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.

3. Click Start Backup. You can select Add the schedule only or Add the schedule and start backup now.

start automating backup

Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately, for restoring, progress checking and schedule changing. When restoring, you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host/vCenter directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

restore vm


Users are allowed to upload VMware Tools to a higher version when needed. This article offers the steps to upgrade VMware Tools manually or automatically in vCenter Server. Meanwhile, it’s necessary to protect your business data when running a virtual environment.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.