How can I start up a VM automatically in Exclusive mode? Guest and host OS is Windows 7.

I know I can use the command line switch -X to start a VM in fullscreen. But I need the VM in Exclusive mode so the tob navigation bar is hidden and a user cannot exit the VM.

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My ultimate goal is to run a VM as a terminal where a user cannot shut down the VM.

  • The usual key combination to exit exclusive mode Alt+CTRL is blocked by a third-party keyblock software which runs on the host
  • The key combination ALT+CTRL+DEL is still a problem. It is too deep integrated into Windows 7. (On older Windows XP it was much easier to block this key combo). Still looking for a solution
  • All other normal shutdown methods like the start button or command line or anything other you can image is blocked by the main application which runs in the VM

Some thoughts to the question: Can I completely hide toolbar in VMware Workstation?

  • The unity mode is a good alternative, but first I want to check if the unity mode can be avoided. Also, i don't know if I can start a VM in unity mode automatically
  • Workstation 7 had a tab bar in fullscreen mode which can be disabled to have a fullscreen. But then it's still possible to leave the VM just with a mouse. However, this tab bar in fullscreen is gone in newer workstation versions
  • Unchecking "Show toolbar edge" isn't a solution because it's still possible to leave the VM
  • The last answer regarding VMware player and the setting

    pref.vmplayer.fullscreen.nobar = "TRUE"

    doesn't work in my VMware Player 5.0. Can't tell why

Question: i still think that Exclusive mode is my best shot to get a "VM terminal". But how do I start up a VM automatically in this mode?


you specify the host OS, but not the vmware application. please detail the vm-product that runs the guest

what you need is straight out-of the box in vwware workstation 10: https://www.vmware.com/support/ws10/doc/workstation-10-release-notes.html

look for the "VMware KVM" section

i don't know if the vmplayer includes the same functionality, or if it's a "premium" feature only.

  • Currently we use VMware Workstation 8, but we can probably upgrade to 10 if this is what it needs. Seems promissing – nixda Jan 8 '14 at 16:24
  • the kvm mode from the ws10 appears to be the most simple and secure way. you still can jump out of the vm with the magic combination, but at least ws10 let's you choose a really weird, unprobable combo, to minimize the risk of user accidentally jumping to the host. – deimosaffair Jan 8 '14 at 16:40
  • 1
    You can enable the enhanced virtual keyboard, so Ctrl-Alt-Del will go to the client, not the host. – MichaelGG Apr 8 '14 at 8:03
  • VMWare player 7 has the same new feature as WMWare Workstation 10. The KVM mode is perfect if you want a kiosk mode. The magic key can be changed in preferences.ini to an unusual key code (e.g 180,0,0) so a user cannot exit the KVM mode. Perfect solution – nixda Dec 11 '14 at 12:02

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