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.

  • 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, 2012 at 1:04
  • @Ken That was my understanding as well. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the case with this vm. Jun 8, 2012 at 11:38

11 Answers 11


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

Find the MAC address in the displayed list (That you found in advance setting of network adapter above) and the IP will be on the side of this particular MAC Address.

In this case the IP is:

  • 1
    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. Jan 31, 2016 at 23:52
  • On Windows10 you can use Settings -> Network & Internet -> Ethernet and click on VMWare Network Adapter VMNet8 which is the switch used for NAT: Useing the host's IP address. If you're useing Bridged, then it will be VMNet1. Once you click it you will see IP address assigned to that switch and it's MAC address. You can confirm it's the same MAC address in the same settings menu in @F Boucheros anwser
    – loostro
    Aug 5, 2016 at 17:58
  • VMNet1 is always assigned to Bridged mode, VMNet8 is always assigned to NAT mode
    – loostro
    Aug 5, 2016 at 17:59
  • 1
    Unhelpful, MAC is not listed.
    – Alex
    Feb 20, 2021 at 15:50
  • Easiest was to find the ip address of the container from the host. Thanks.
    – Dark Star1
    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:40

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
  • 1
    This requires access to the VM console, which @sixtyfootersdude is saying he hasn't got.
    – RivieraKid
    Jun 24, 2015 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). Jun 25, 2015 at 7:41
  • 1
    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, 2015 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, 2015 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. Aug 8, 2015 at 20:30

On Windows 7,

  1. Copied the MAC address to the clipboard
  2. Open C:\ProgramData\VMware\vmnetdhcp.leases in Notepad
  3. Search for the MAC address string.

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


I have the same problem, I type command on linux

ip addr

but it shows something like which not what I was looking for.

I notice that when I install Linux (CentOS) in VMware I did not set network configuration.

So,I solve this problem by installing a new Linux VM again. During the installation there is a section to configure network like in the picture.


When the installation is done I type "ip adddr" and I can see the IP.


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?


Maybe it is too late for answer, but I had same problem. Simply install VMware vSphere Client and after logon you can right click on VM and open in console where mouse and keyboard works. CTRL + ALT to exit your mouse from console.


To find any unknown host on your network (whether it's a VM or not) you can use Angry IP scanner. Another option for Linux is arp-scan (it's not usually installed by default, but has very few dependencies). The command arp-scan -l will give you a table of IP addresses and associated MAC addresses. All of your VM's will have similar MAC addresses, so you can narrow it down that way if you have a large network.


From a Linux box, do an arp-scan on your VMware interface and look for the MAC:

arp-scan --interface=vmnet8 -l 00:0c:29:40:5e:db   VMware, Inc. 00:50:56:f1:76:14   VMware, Inc.

The simplest way no use of virtual machine settings just follows the steps provided in the link.


Open installed Mac OS go to Menu click on Apple icon -> System Preferences -> Network -> Ethernet and see your IP address

enter image description here

🍺 vmrun list
    Total running VMs: 1

🍺  vmrun getGuestIPAddress ~/.docker/machine/machines/myvm.vmx

credit to: https://superuser.com/a/948260 (^ this is copied from an answer to a different question)


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