I am using a combination of xautolock and slimlock to automatiacally lock my machine if it does not receive input.


xautolock -locker /usr/bin/lockify.sh -time 5 &



if pidof gnome-mplayer 
    echo "gnome-mplayer is not running"

    echo "Watching Video, not locking screen"

Only recently I discovered that this is a problem, when I have a VMWare guest running in the foreground. What happens is that when the lock-screen is engaged the keyboard input seems to remain with my vmware-guest so I cannot unlock my host system.

Does anyone know how I could ensure that input focus is transferred back to my host before the system is locked?


The easiest way to deal with this is to install VMware Tools in the guest, so that your system never has to lock the keyboard/mouse to the guest in the first place.

If you don't want to do a full VMware Tools install, you can probably get by with just enabling the vmmouse X driver in the guest in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, something like:

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     "Default Layout"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
        InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"  # Add this line to this section

# Add this section
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier "Mouse0"
        Driver "vmmouse"
        Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

This sample was taken from a working system where I had to manually enable the guest integration as it wasn't autodetected.

  • Interesting. Thought I had installed the tools. Will recheck. Thx.
    – er4z0r
    Jul 25 '12 at 13:36
  • Nope. Didn't help :-/
    – er4z0r
    Jul 26 '12 at 14:21

I had the same problem on my windows pc. To be able to enter the password, I had to press Ctrl + Alt to transfer focus to the unlock screen. This is not a real solution, because there is no way to see why the keyboard is not working in the unlock screen. But I hope this might help someone. See also this VMware KB entry.

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