VMWare tools segmentation fault when upgrading CentOS

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had the same error when upgrading the VMWare tools on CentOS 5.x and 6.x, yet every time I upgrade them I always seem to forget how I worked around the problem.

The problem occurs when you run vmware-tools-upgrader on the box, the last few lines of output look something like this

ISO contains only tarball.
Upgrader(RunUntar): running "tar -zxf /tmp/4c3eaa5f/VMWARETO.TGZ -C /tmp/4c3eaa5f"
Executing async command: 'tar -zxf /tmp/4c3eaa5f/VMWARETO.TGZ -C /tmp/4c3eaa5f' in working dir ''
Done waiting for process: 17307 (success)
Writing the command was a success to fd 4
Child w/ fd 3 exited with code=0
Waiting on pid 17306 to de-zombify it
Unlinking tar at /tmp/4c3eaa5f/VMWARETO.TGZ
Unlinking rpm at /tmp/4c3eaa5f/VMWARETO.RPM
Segmentation fault

Despite it throwing the seg fault, the files you need are actually sitting there ready to use. Once it’s thrown the error take note of the path where it unlinks the VMWARETO.TGZ file, the part after tmp is a randomly generated string that changes every time.

To start the upgrade process all you have to do is run: /tmp//vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl

The install should then run as normal!

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