Open Virtual Machine Tools is the open source implementation of the open-vm-tools suite, which includes virtualization utilities to improve the function and management of virtual machines on VMware hypervisors.
The open-vm-tools suite is bundled with Linux operating systems and is installed as a part of the OS installation, eliminating the need to separately install the suite on guest OSs. All leading Linux vendors support the open-vm-tools suite on vSphere, Workstation, and Fusion, and bundle them with their product releases, which VMware must certify before you can use them safely. For information about OS compatibility check for the open-vm-tools suite, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
Bundling open-vm-tools with Linux OS releases reduces virtual machine downtime because all updates to the open-vm-tools suite and the VMware drivers are included with the OS maintenance patches and updates. You do not have to maintain separate maintenance cycles for open-vm-tools suite updates.
In a few cases, the integration of the open-vm-tools suite with OS releases might slightly vary when the suite is bundled with OSs on installation CDs or DVDs and is installed by default when you install your guest operating systems. In other cases, the open-vm-tools suite is not installed by default, unless specifically selected during installation.
Use the OS package manager for installing OSs from open source communities. Follow the installation instructions provided by your OS vendor for your specific release or check the partner Web site at http://partnerweb.vmware.com/GOSIG/home.html.
VMware fully supports Open VM Tools that are developed in collaboration with OS vendors and open source communities and does not recommend removing open-vm-tools that are redistributed by your OS vendors.
If you use open-vm-tools or OS specific package (OSP) for packaging and distribution of VMware Tools, the VMware Tools status displays as Guest Managed on the virtual machine Summary tab. The status Guest Managed means that you cannot use the vCenter Server for managing OSP and Open VM Tools software updates. Instead, manage the installation and update for Open VM Tools and OSP from within each guest operating system and expect to get updates on Open VM Tools in synch with the guest OS and virtual appliances updates and patches.
Open VM Tools Packages
For better managing guest operating systems, the open-vm-tools suite includes the following packages:
The core open-vm-tools package contains the core open-vm-tools user space utilities, application programs, and libraries, including vmtoolsd to help effectively manage communication between your host and guest OSs. This package includes features as, synchronizing guest OS clocks with the virtualization platform, transferring files between hosts and guests, sending heartbeat information from guest OSs to the virtualization infrastructure to support vSphere High Availability (HA), publishing resource utilization and networking information of the guest OSs to the virtualization platform, and so on.
The open-vm-tools-desktop package is optional and includes additional user space programs and libraries to improve the interactive functionality of desktop operations of your virtual machines. The package enables you to resize a guest display to match with its host console window or the VMware Remote Console Window for vSphere. The package also allows you to copy and paste between host and guest OSs as well as to drag and drop between guests and a host for the VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion products.
The open-vm-tools-devel package contains libraries and additional documentation for developing vmtoolsd plug-ins and applications.
The open-vm-tools-debuginfo package contains the source code for open-vm-tools and binary files. For the latest copy of the Open VM Tools source code, see the Sourceforge Web site at http://open-vm-tools.sourceforge.net. You can also the obtain a copy of the source code from the GitHub web site at https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools.
For information about the open-vm-tools support policy and availability, see the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2073803.