Why do we need a VMware Tools in our Virtual Machines?

I remember the days of the discussions on if we need or not a VMware tools installed in our virtual machines. Back then there were voices for both “yea” and “nay”, but now days it seems that most of those votes are “yea”.

So, why do we all vote “yea”? This is not a complete list, but a rather an initiative for all of you guys to make it a complete. For now, I have compiled a following list:

  1. SVGA video driver
  2. Mouse capabilities improvements
  3. vmxnet ethernet drivers
  4. Balooning driver
  5. Virtual Machine heartbeat
  6. Guest OS quiesce
  7. Guest OS time sync
  8. Gust OS graceful shutdown or reboot
  9. Guest OS customization (as in cloning)
  10. Hot-plug CPU
  11. Hot-add RAM
  12. VDP FLR

Please go on šŸ™‚

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2 Responses to Why do we need a VMware Tools in our Virtual Machines?

  1. Ankush Jha says:

    Thanks for the explanation about Vmware tools and support files functionality. But I have Question about Balooning driver and Balooning Concept could you share some information about the Balooning.

    Well thanks in advance. Hope u can help me about the topic Balooning.

    • Sasa says:

      Ballooning is a memory management technic in vSphere. It’s a way through which an ESXi hosts can reclaim unused memory from virtual machines. This claim is done through the ballooning driver (vmmemctl.sys). Let’s see an example. We have a virtual machine that is allocated some memory from by the ESXi host. And we have some application running inside that VM. After application is done its work, the VM marks memory pages released by the application as free, so other applications within the VM can make use of it. However, the ESXi host is unaware of that released memory. We can think of ballooning driver as another application inside the VM that is aware of that memory through the guest operating system. Now, ballooning driver (aka application) can claim that memory and the ESXi hosts through special channel to the ballooning driver can request and obtain that memory for other virtual machines. This only happens when ESXi hosts are running out its physical memory.

      Hope this helps.

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