The VMware Tools service starts when the guest operating system starts. The service passes information between host and guest operating systems.
This program, which runs in the background, is called vmtoolsd.exe in Windows guest operating systems, vmware-tools-daemon in Mac OS X guest operating systems, and vmtoolsd in Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris guest operating systems. The VMware Tools service performs the following tasks:
- Passes messages from the host to the guest operating system.
- Provides support for customization of guest operating systems as a part of the vCenter Server and other VMware products.
- Provides support for guest operating system-bound calls created with the VMware VIX API, except in Mac OS X guest operating systems.
- Runs scripts that help automate guest operating system operations. The scripts run when the power state of the virtual machine changes.
- Synchronizes the time in the guest operating system with the time on the host.
- In Windows guest operating systems, allows the pointer to move freely between the guest and the vSphere Web Client.
On Linux guest operating systems that run Xorg 1.8 and later, this functionality is available as a standard feature.
In Windows and Mac OS X guest operating systems, fits the screen display resolution of the guest to the screen resolution of the vSphere Web Client, if running in full screen mode. If running in windowed mode, fits the screen resolution of the guest to the size of the window on the client or host.
- In Windows and Linux guest operating systems, helps create the quiesced snapshots used by certain backup applications.
- In Windows, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD guest operating systems, runs custom power-on script in the virtual machine when you shut down or restart the guest operating system.
- Is one of the processes that sends a heartbeat to the VMware product to indicate that the guest operating system is running. When the virtual machine runs under ESXi or vCenter Server, a gauge for this heartbeat appears in the management interface.
Provides support for guest operating on Windows and Linux created using the VMware VIX API, except in Mac OS X guest operating systems. For information VIX API, see the vSphere API Reference documentation.