You can attach up to three bidirectional parallel (LPT) ports to a virtual machine. Virtual parallel ports can output to parallel ports or to files on the host system.

Parallel ports are used for a variety of devices, including printers, scanners, dongles, and disk drives. Although these devices can connect to the host system, only printers can reliably connect to virtual machines by using parallel ports.

Workstation Pro provides only partial emulation of PS/2 hardware. Interrupts that a device connected to a physical port requests are not passed to the virtual machine. The guest operating system cannot use direct memory access (DMA) to move data to or from the port. For this reason, not all devices that attach to a parallel port work correctly. Do not use virtual parallel ports to connect parallel port storage devices or other types of parallel port devices to a virtual machine.



  1. Select the virtual machine and select VM > Settings.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Add.
  3. In the New Hardware wizard, select Parallel Port.
  4. Select where the virtual parallel port sends output.



    Use a physical parallel port

    Select a parallel port on the host system.

    Use output file

    Send output from the virtual parallel port to a file on the host system. Either locate an existing output file or browse to a directory and type a filename to create a new output file.

  5. To connect the virtual parallel port to the virtual machine when the virtual machine powers on, select Connect at power on.
  6. Click Finish to add the virtual parallel port to the virtual machine.


When a parallel port is configured for a virtual machine, most guest operating systems detect the port at installation time and install the required drivers. Some operating systems, including Linux, detect the ports at boot time.