Using system GTK+ with VMware Workstation on Linux

VMware Workstation for Linux doesn’t seem to respect GTK+ themes on many Linux distributions. The reason for this is that it bundles a version of GTK+ that’s too old to load most modern system themes:

(vmware-modconfig:27223): Gtk-WARNING **: GModule (/usr/lib/gtk-2.0/2.10.0/engines/ initialization check failed: Gtk+ version too old (micro mismatch)

Workstation really tries to load the system GTK+ rather than its own, it really does. The problem is that it uses a set of C++ bindings called gtkmm that aren’t often installed on people’s desktop systems. If you’re getting the ugly old GTK+ that ships with VMware, you don’t have them installed, so it falls back on its bundled gtkmm (which links against the bundled GTK+). To fix this, just install the gtkmm libraries into your library path. On Ubuntu:

aptitude install libgtkmm-2.4-1c2a

And you’re all done. Adjust as necessary for your distro of choice.


  1. Thanks, just what I was looking for. VMware Workstation 7.1.2 on Arch Linux was giving me this error.

    Installed gtkmm from the extra repo, all sorted out now. :)

  2. Worked like a champ with Xubuntu 11.04 and WS 7.1.4 tto. What was left is that it wasn’t able to write in user mode which was fixed by changing the permission of .vmware and all files below to read& write for group and others.



  3. THANK YOU. I’ve been wondering why the icons all looked weird in VMware Workstation for the past few releases.

  4. Thank you very much, dude. It doesnot look weird anymore on Xu 12.04

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