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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

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 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:

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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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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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