VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that you install in the operating system of a virtual machine.

VMware Tools enhances the performance of a virtual machine and makes possible many of the ease-of-use features in VMware products. For example, the following features are just some of the features that are available only if VMware Tools is installed:

  • Significantly faster graphics performance and Windows Aero on operating systems that support Aero

  • The Unity feature, which enables an application in a virtual machine to appear on the host desktop like any other application window

  • Shared folders between host and guest file systems

  • Copying and pasting text, graphics, and files between the virtual machine and the host or client desktop

  • Improved mouse performance

  • Synchronization of the clock in the virtual machine with the clock on the host or client desktop

  • Scripting that helps automate guest operating system operations

Although the guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, many VMware features are not available until you install VMware Tools. For example, if you do not have VMware Tools installed in your virtual machine, you cannot use the shutdown or restart options from the toolbar. You can use only the power options.

The installation procedure varies, depending on the operating system.

VMware highly recomments that you always run the latest version of VMware Tools. You can configure your virtual machine to automatically check for and apply VMware Tools upgrades each time you power on your virtual machines. For information about enabling automatic upgrade of VMware Tools on your virtual machines, see vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.