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

About this task


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


    C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools

    Linux and Solaris




    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



    Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD


    Mac OS X


  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




    Use one of the names displayed when you used the list subcommand.


    Use enable or disable.


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