Tip: VMware Toolbox

Last time I gave a brief overview of what VMware Tools is and why they’re is important. But how do you interact with them?

Open Toolbox
The main way is via VMware Toolbox. You’ll need Tools installed, of course, and the way you get to it depends on the guest OS you’re running. In Windows, right-click the VMware-three-boxes logo in the system tray and select Open VMware Tools. In Linux or Solaris, run vmware-toolbox. We don’t currently have a Toolbox for OS X guests, and I’m not sure about FreeBSD or Netware. You’ll need to have opened Toolbox as an administrator for some features.

Once in Toolbox, you can get information about what version of Tools you have installed (About tab), shrink a disk (Shrink tab, requires a sparse disk with no snapshots), links to shared folders (Shared Folders tab, if you have them enabled), scripts which are run when the virtual machine powers on/off or suspends (Scripts tab), connect/disconnect devices (Devices tab), and general options (Options tab).

Tools does way more than what’s listed in Toolbox, but the other stuff is either automatic (such as copy/paste support) or configured elsewhere (such as HGFS shared folders, which are under the virtual machine’s Settings).


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