Open VM Tools (open-vm-tools) is the open source implementation of VMware Tools for Linux guest operating systems.
The open-vm-tools suite is bundled with some Linux operating systems and is installed as a part of the OS, eliminating the need to separately install the suite on guest operating systems. All leading Linux vendors support the open-vm-tools suite on vSphere, Workstation, and Fusion, and bundle open-vm-tools with their product releases. For information about OS compatibility check for the open-vm-tools suite, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
Use of open-vm-tools with a OS distribution which is not listed under VMware Compatibility Guide must be certified by VMware.
Bundling open-vm-tools with Linux OS releases reduces virtual machine downtime because all updates to the open-vm-tools suite are included with the OS maintenance patches and updates. You do not have to maintain separate maintenance cycles for open-vm-tools suite updates. This is also applicable for VMware guest operating system drivers.
In some cases, open-vm-tools is installed by default when you install your guest operating systems. In other cases, the open-vm-tools suite is not installed by default, unless specifically selected during installation.
Follow the installation instructions provided by your OS vendor for your specific release or check the partner Web site at http://partnerweb.vmware.com/GOSIG/home.html.
VMware fully supports open-vm-tools that are developed in collaboration with OS vendors and open source communities and recommends using open-vm-tools that are redistributed by your OS vendors.
Open VM Tools Packages
For better managing guest operating systems, the open-vm-tools suite includes the following packages:
The core open-vm-tools package contains the core open-vm-tools user space utilities, application programs, and libraries, including vmtoolsd, to help effectively manage communication between your host and guest OSs. This package includes features as, synchronizing guest OS clocks with the virtualization platform, transferring files between hosts and guests, sending heartbeat information from guest OSs to the virtualization infrastructure to support vSphere High Availability (HA), publishing resource utilization and networking information of the guest OSs to the virtualization platform, and so on.
The open-vm-tools-desktop package is optional and includes additional user programs and libraries to improve the interactive functionality of desktop operations of your virtual machines. The package enables you to resize a guest display to match its host console window or the VMware Remote Console Window for vSphere. The package also allows you to copy and paste between host and guest OSs, as well as to drag and drop between guests and a host for the VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion products.
The open-vm-tools-devel package contains libraries and additional documentation for developing vmtoolsd plug-ins and applications.
The open-vm-tools-debuginfo package contains the source code for open-vm-tools and binary files. For the latest copy of the Open VM Tools source code, see the GitHub Web site at https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools.
If you use an open-vm-tools, the VMware Tools status is Guest Managed on the virtual machine Summary tab. The status Guest Managed means that you cannot use the vCenter Server to manage VMware Tools and you cannot use vSphere Update Manager to upgrade VMware Tools.
For information about the open-vm-tools support policy and availability, see the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2073803.