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


Some restrictions exist 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.

You can run the configuration utility to connect and disconnect virtual devices. For security reasons, this ability is disabled by default. To connect or disconnect devices, you must first change the settings in the configuration file.


If you plan to script commands to connect or disconnect a virtual device, and need to know what the exit codes are, see Exit Codes for the VMware Tools Configuration Utility.


  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. Type utility-name device list to list available devices.

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

    Operating System

    Utility Name



    Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD


    Mac OS X


  5. (Optional) Type 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. Type 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.


The device is connected or disconnected, as you specified.