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Open Virtual Machine Tools

| Monday, November 5, 2012
The Open Virtual Machine Tools (open-vm-tools) are the open source implementation of VMware Tools. They are a set of guest operating system virtualization components that enhance performance and user experience of virtual machines. As virtualization technology rapidly becomes mainstream, each virtualization solution provider implements their own set of tools and utilities to supplement the guest virtual machine. However, most of the implementations are proprietary and are tied to a specific virtualization platform.

With the Open Virtual Machine Tools project, we are hoping to solve this and other related problems. The tools are currently composed of kernel modules for Linux and user-space programs for all VMware supported Unix-like guest operating systems. They provide several useful functions like:
File transfer between a host and guest
Improved memory management and network performance under virtualization
General mechanisms and protocols for communication between host and guests and from guest to guest

We are excited about starting this open source project and we think it opens up a lot of opportunities.

With the source code readily available, users of VMware products today (and other virtualization platforms too, in the future) will get these tools bundled and delivered through their distribution specific package manager. This should provide a seamless installation/upgrade experience and ease the burden on sysadmins. In fact, if you are looking to package the source for your favorite Linux distribution, we have included some helpful documentation.

If you are looking to implement virtualization-enabled applications, you can use the source as an excellent reference.

If you are looking to port the tools to other operating systems (or other hypervisors), we would love to hear your ideas and help you with the development.

We are working hard to move our development environment over to and hope to do so in the near future.

In the meantime

Grab our latest snapshot release here .
Read through the documentation.
Interact with the developers using the mailing lists.
Report bugs.
Spread the word.

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