VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine's guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine.

For example, the following features are just some of the features that are available only if VMware Tools is installed:

  • Significantly faster graphics performance and Windows Aero on operating systems that support Aero
  • The Unity feature, which enables an application in a virtual machine to appear on the host desktop like any other application window
  • Shared folders between host and guest file systems
  • Copying and pasting text, graphics, and files between the virtual machine and the host or client desktop
  • Improved mouse performance
  • Synchronization of the clock in the virtual machine with the clock on the host or client desktop
  • Scripting that helps automate guest operating system operations
  • Enables guest customization for virtual machines.

Although the guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, you would lose important functionality and convenience.

You can use the Windows Easy Install or Linux Easy Install feature to install VMware Tools as soon as the operating system is finished installing.

In the case of Windows Easy Install or Linux Easy Install, Fusion installs VMware Tools as soon as it finishes installing the operating system. When you finish installing the operating system in your new virtual machine by any other means (rebooting the virtual machine when prompted), install VMware Tools.

Not all features are supported on all guests.

You can use the VMware Tools control panel to set various options that optimize your guest operating system for use in a virtual machine.