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Manually uninstalling VMware Workstation from Linux hosts (38)

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This article provides steps for manually removing VMware Workstation when the uninstaller script or RPM package fails to remove the product automatically.


Note: Log into the host using the root account to execute the terminal commands in this article. If running Ubuntu, the root account is not available by default. Prepend all commands with sudo, or switch to root using this command:

sudo su -

Warning: This command provides unrestricted access to the operating system. It is possible to cause damage to the system when using this access level.

  1. Open a command prompt. For more information, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892). Type the commands as indicated in the steps of this procedure.
  2. Shut down all VMware applications and services.

    /etc/init.d/vmware stop

  3. Verify that all processes have stopped:

    lsmod | grep vm

    Note: A zero must be listed beside VMware related modules to indicate that they are no longer running.

  4. Move the VMware libraries to the /tmp directory:

    cd /lib/modules/kernel_version/misc
    mv vm* /tmp

    Note: If the kernel has ever been updated, you must check and move the files from multiple paths. Substitute the kernel version where indicated above.

  5. Unload the kernel modules:

    rmmod vmnet.o
    rmmod vmmon.o
    rmmod vmci.o
    rmmod vmblock.o
    rmmod vmppuser.o

  6. Remove the VMware startup scripts:

    RedHat and Most Distributions:

    rm /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc2.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc3.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc5.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc6.d/*vmware*


    rm /etc/rc2.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc3.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc5.d/*vmware*
    rm /etc/rc6.d/*vmware*

    Note: If you are using a different Linux distribution, substitute the correct path in the commands.

  7. Remove the remaining VMware files and directories:

    rm -rf /etc/vmware*
    rm /usr/bin/vmware-usbarbitrator
    rm /usr/bin/vmnet*
    rm -r /usr/lib/vmware*
    rm -r /usr/share/doc/vmware*

  8. If an RPM package was used to install the VMware product, complete these steps to delete the RPM database entry:

    rpm -qa | grep VMware

    Note: A list of VMware packages is presented. Copy the exact package name for the next step and paste it into the command where indicated.

  9. Remove the VMware packages:

    rpm --erase --nodeps VMware_Package_Name

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:

Update History

08/23/2012 - Added Workstation 9.x to Products 05/09/2013 - Added Workstation 10.x to Product versions. 02/12/2014 - Updated for Workstation 11.x

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 84 Ratings