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

Important: Note the following restrictions for connecting devices:
  • 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 floppy 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.

For security reasons, this feature is disabled by default. The first part of this procedure describes how to enable the feature in the virtual machine configuration file. After you enable the feature, you can run the configuration utility to connect and disconnect virtual devices.


If you plan to script the commands used in this procedure and need to know what the exit codes are, see Exit Codes.


  1. Configure the virtual machine to allow connecting and disconnecting devices.
    1. Open 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. Enter the command to list available devices: utility-name device list.

    For utility-name use the guest-specific program name.

    Operating System Utility Name
    Windows VMwareToolboxCmd.exe
    Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD vmware-toolbox-cmd
    Mac OS X vmware-tools-cli
  5. (Optional) Enter 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. Enter 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.


After you complete this procedure, the device is connected or disconnected, as you specified.