I was interested in installing VMware Tools on a Cisco vWLC (version 8.3.102). Is there anyway to access a Linux shell on the appliance, or would I have to do something hacky like mount the vmdk on another machine?

  • You can’t install VMware tools in the WLC image. If you can’t get a shell you can’t install the tools Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 12:57
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


You'd probably have to do the later. You'd need access to the underlying OS. Since the way it operates I don't believe you actually need VMWare tools. There isn't really any advantage to install it either. If you need 10GB nics, look at VMware vsphere 6.0 and above. 10GB support is built in.

  • Yeah i've been trying. I've managed to modify the image, so long as the resultant image is smaller, and then pad the embedded gzip files with null bytes to make it the same size. The problem is that VMware tools pretty much doubles the size of the image. I havent been motivated enough to go through the kernel's source code to determine the offsets of the embedded file sizes. Instead I have a outstanding open source request with Cisco to get a copy of the kernel's source for the vWLC. Someday when I get it, i'll post a guide here.
    – Muh Fugen
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 17:34
  • @MuhFugen, "I have a outstanding open source request with Cisco to get a copy of the kernel's source for the vWLC." The Cisco code is a closed, proprietary application, and Cisco has successfully sued companies that have copied its code. They are not going to give you that.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 13:52
  • @RonMaupin you may be surprised to find that when Cisco modifies and distributes a their copy of the Linux kernel, Cisco can be and has been sued if they refused to distribute the source code of the modifications. It’s a lovely consequence of GPLv2 Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 0:40
  • @MikePennington, I'm aware of Cisco needing to give out the source of the Linux kernel that is used for some of the OSes, but people have been trying to sue to get the processes (e.g. IOS) run as an application on the kernel, but this has gone nowhere. You can get the source of the particular Linux kernel used, including Cisco modifications to the kernel, albeit with a lot of trouble in contravention of the GPL licensing, but the Cisco applications are still proprietary.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 0:44
  • The WLC VM is more than just an application Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 0:59

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