You can connect and disconnect removable devices such as floppy drives, DVD/CD-ROM drives, ISO images, USB devices, sound adapters, and network adapters.

  • Some devices cannot be shared between the host and guest operating systems or between two guest operating systems. For example, only one virtual machine or the host can access the physical CD-ROM drive at any one time.
  • The controls for connecting and disconnecting devices might not be available, depending on whether your system administrator has enabled them.

You can run the configuration utility to connect and disconnect virtual devices. For security reasons, this ability is disabled by default. To connect or disconnect devices, you must first change the settings in the configuration file.


If you plan to script commands to connect or disconnect a virtual device, and for the exit codes are, see Exit Codes for the VMware Tools Configuration Utility.


  1. Configure the virtual machine to allow devices to connect or disconnect.
    1. Edit the configuration (.vmx) file of the virtual machine with a text editor.
    2. If the following properties are not listed in the file, add them and set them to FALSE.
      isolation.device.connectable.disable = "FALSE"
      isolation.device.edit.disable = "FALSE"
    3. Save and close the file.
  2. Open a command prompt or terminal in the guest operating system.
  3. Change to the VMware Tools installation directory.
    Operating System Default Path
    Windows C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools
    Linux and Solaris /usr/sbin
    FreeBSD /usr/local/sbin
    Mac OS X /Library/Application Support/VMware Tools
  4. Type utility-name device list to list available devices.

    For utility-name, use the guest-specific application name.

    Operating System Utility Name
    Windows VMwareToolboxCmd.exe
    Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD vmware-toolbox-cmd
    Mac OS X vmware-tools-cli
  5. (Optional) Type the command to determine whether a device is connected.
    utility-name device status device-name

    For device-name, use one of the names displayed when you used the list subcommand.

  6. Type the command to connect or disconnect the device.
    utility-name device device-name subcommand
    Option Action
    device-name Use one of the names displayed when you used the list subcommand.
    subcommand Use enable or disable.


The device is connected or disconnected, as you specified.