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.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in Windows virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a Windows Virtual Machine and Automate VMware Tools Installation for Multiple Windows Virtual Machines.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in Linux virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a Linux Virtual Machine.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in Mac OS X virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a Mac OS X Virtual Machine.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in Solaris virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a Solaris Virtual Machine.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in NetWare virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a NetWare Virtual Machine.

For information about installing or upgrading VMware Tools in FreeBSD virtual machines, see Manually Install or Upgrade VMware Tools in a FreeBSD Virtual Machine.