One of the executables used by VMware Tools in Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD guest operating systems is the VMware User process. This program implements the fit-guest-to-window feature and Unity mode, among other features.

Normally, this process is started automatically after you configure VMware Tools and then log out of the desktop environment and log back in. You must start the process manually in the following environments:

  • If you run an X session without a session manager (for example, by using startx and getting a desktop and not using xdm, kdm, or gdm).
  • If you are using certain older versions of GNOME without gdm or xdm.
  • If you are using any session manager or environment that does not support the Desktop Application Autostart Specification, available from
  • If you upgrade VMware Tools.


  • To have the VMware User process start when you start an X session, add vmware-user to the appropriate X startup script, such as the .xsession or .xinitrc file.
    The vmware-user program is located in the directory where you selected to install binary programs, which defaults to /usr/bin. The startup script that needs to be modified depends on your particular system.
  • To start the process after a VMware Tools software upgrade or if you notice certain features are not working, open a terminal window and enter the vmware-user command.