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I am running VMware Workstation on a Linux box.

When I power on a centOS (Linux) virtual machine I cannot get mouse or keyboard control of the machine. I suspect that it has something to do with the error message:

You do not have VMware Tools installed in this guest. Chose "Install VMware Tools" from the VM menu.

If I click on that menu option it inserts a virtual cd with drivers etc. This does not help me since I don't have keyboard or mouse control over the machine.

I was thinking that if I could figure out the IP address or hostname I could use any number of protocols to get into the machine (SSH comes to mind).

How can I get the IP address or hostname of this machine?

Note: I did not create this machine. A coworker created it who is no longer with the company. Would save me a lot of time if I could get into the machine. I have login credentials so that won't be a problem.

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VMware Tools only gives you enhanced mouse integration (among other things); for example, the mouse no longer gets trapped in the VM window, forcing you to manually release it. Without the Tools, the VM should still be able to capture the keyboard and mouse, by clicking on/in the window and typing. There are icons in the bottom right of the host window that show the capture state. – Ken Jun 8 '12 at 1:04
@Ken That was my understanding as well. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the case with this vm. – sixtyfootersdude Jun 8 '12 at 11:38
up vote 23 down vote accepted

First Go in the Virtual Machine Settings.

Found the MAC address

Then in the Network Section, click the Advanced button and read the MAC address

Then in the console execute: arp -a

C:\>arp -a
Interface: --- 0xb
  Internet Address      Physical Address      Type           b8-ac-6f-cb-a1-80     dynamic           78-2b-cb-aa-51-bf     dynamic

Interface: --- 0x1c
  Internet Address      Physical Address      Type        00-0c-29-56-bd-36     dynamic        ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff     static

Found the MAC address and the IP will be on the side.

In this case the IP is:

share|improve this answer
For me, the VM (using a DHCP address from my router) was not in my local machine's arp table. To make it knows on the network I had to get the VM to attempt a connection to my host ip - which was tricky, since i couldn't access the VM, but i did it. – andrew lorien Jan 31 at 23:52

There is a built-in VNC service in Workstation. I've not used it, but the config (below) would seem to suggest that you could enable it, and use your host's IP with a particular port with any of a number of VNC clients to gain control of your virtual machine.

VMWare Workstation VNC Config Setup

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Please check, if not those input devices are connected to the guest OS as USB devices? Once disconnecting them, they should become accessible to the host OS - and therefore operational.

on Linux the command is:

ip addr

or the rather obsolete:


the equivalent command on Windows is:

ipconfig /all

while the output looks about like that:

eno16777984: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
    inet netmask  broadcast
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This requires access to the VM console, which @sixtyfootersdude is saying he hasn't got. – RivieraKid Jun 24 '15 at 10:33
@RivieraKid those commands can be executed on a local console of any machine running within VMware - if basic keyboard and/or mouse are not available at the shell prompt - that rather sounds like a general container mis-configuration... because only the enhanced keyboard depends on VMware tools. if no keyboard - simply mounting the disk into a fully functional OS is always possible (and rather hassle free). – syslogic Jun 25 '15 at 7:41
I agree, but OP states: "When I power on a centOS (Linux) virtual machine I cannot get mouse or keyboard control of the machine.". While I agree that there's something not right about his configuration, this does not answer the question. – RivieraKid Jun 25 '15 at 10:01
On Linux, ifconfig is now deprecated. It has been removed entirely from RHEL/CentOS 7, for example. Use ip addr instead. – kbolino Aug 7 '15 at 18:58
still have that command... while most likely the VM just has those input devices connected as USB devices - which causes them to be inaccessible to the driver - which is actually running on the host OS. – syslogic Aug 8 '15 at 20:30

Don't know about Linux, but in Windows you could …

  1. Add another network interface to the VM, which will be using VMware DHCP to assign a known IP to your VM. You should set up VMware DHCP to a very short address range and it will be easy to pick the IP (also would be problematic to check, because default Windows firewall settings don't allow incoming echo requests... But you're not Windows)

  2. Try to pick the subnet where your VM is, put another PC to the subnet (another VM or your physical PC) – and use Computer Browser service ("Network" or "My Network places") to find the VM.

You should also look for network scanning software.

By the way, what's the VM network mode? Host-only private network (with or without NAT) or bridged?

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