How to get VMWare Remote Console to install on Kubuntu 19.04 – Probably works on other Ubuntu Versions also

When trying to set up my new Kubuntu install I went to install the VMWare Remote Console, and to my annoyance the installer would fail without any feedback on what was going wrong. Here’s what I needed to do to fix it. To start with , some details of my machines and setup:

Date: 2019-05-24
Machine details from inxi:
/m/u/h/j/S/notes> inxi
 CPU: Dual Core Intel Core i5-6200U (-MT MCP-) speed/min/max: 1468/400/2800 MHz Kernel: 5.0.0-15-generic x86_64 Up: 1h 49m 
 Mem: 4538.0/7719.6 MiB (58.8%) Storage: 238.47 GiB (54.3% used) Procs: 271 Shell: fish 3.0.2 inxi: 3.0.33

VMWare Remote Console Version: 10.0.4
VMware-Remote-Console-10.0.4-11818843.x86_64.bundle

To start with, running the installer from the command like I was getting this error:

~/d> sudo ./VMware-Remote-Console-10.0.4-11818843.x86_64.bundle --console
Extracting VMware Installer...done.
User interface initialization failed.  Exiting.  Check the log for details.

It wasn’t even clear what log file it meant, but after doing some searching on duckduckgo I discoversed the log file for the console installer is /var/log/vmware-installer. Therefore, to get an idea of the issues, I would tail that log like this:

root@jtuckey-x1-ubu:/var/log# tail -f /var/log/vmware-installer

Tailing that log showed me that there were some issues with libraries being used. To get the installer to run through I needed to install the packages:

  • libncursesw5 – for the console interface
  • desktop-file-utils – error caused when trying to run update-desktop-database command from this package

After this I was able to get the installed to run through completely. Hope this helps someone.