Although your guest operating systems can run without VMware Tools, many VMware features are not available until you install VMware Tool. When you install VMware Tools, the utilities in the tools suite enhances the performance of your virtual machine’s guest operating system and improves the management of your virtual machines.

The installers for VMware Tools are ISO image files. An ISO image file looks like a CD-ROM to your guest operating system. Each type of guest operating system, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and NetWare, has an ISO image file. When you select the command to install or upgrade VMware Tools, the virtual machine’s first virtual CD-ROM disk drive temporarily connects to the VMware Tools ISO file for your guest operating system.

If you are using VMware Fusion, Player, or Workstation, you can use the Windows Easy Install or Linux Easy Install feature to install VMware Tools as soon as the operating system is finished installing.

If you are using VMware Fusion, Player, or Workstation, the most recent versions of the ISO files are stored on a VMware Web site. When you select the command to install or upgrade VMware Tools, the VMware product determines whether it has downloaded the most recent version of the ISO file for the specific operating system. If the latest version was not downloaded or if no VMware Tools ISO file for that operating system was ever downloaded, you are prompted to download the file.