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One year ago, VMware has started the bifurcation of VMware Tools for Legacy and Current Guests using of two separate delivery vehicles:

  • VMware Tools 10.1 is available for OEM-supported guest OSs only
  • VMware Tools 10.0.12 was for the guests OS that have fallen out of support by their respective vendors are offered “frozen”.

The frozen VMware Tools will not receive feature enhancements going forward.

With Tools 10.1 and 10.0.12 there are now two ISO images for certain families of guest operating systems in order to accommodate the bifurcation described above. Consequently, the configurable guest OS attribute for some guests in vSphere 6.5 has become more precise in order to support this change.

Now VMware has released the new VMware Tools 10.2 version with several news:

  • Offline bundle with VMware Tools VIB: Offline bundles with VMware Tools VIB that can be installed on vSphere 5.5.x, 6.0.x and 6.5.x releases using vSphere Update Manager.
  • VMware Tools 10.2.0 supports the guest operating systems below:
    • windows.iso supports Windows Vista and later.
    • linux.iso supports Linux guest operating systems Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and later, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 and later, Ubuntu 10.04 and later. It also supports other distributions with glibc versions 2.5 and later.
    • darwin.iso supports Mac OS X versions 10.11 and later.
    • solaris.iso supports Solaris versions.
  • Improved lifecycle management of VMware Tools
    • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to distribute and update VMware Tools: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is used to manage the deployment of Windows applications across an enterprise and can be used to deploy VMware Tools. For more information, see Deploying VMware Tools using SCCM.
  • FreeBSD support: freebsd.iso is not available for VMware Tools 10.2.0 and later as it has been discontinued in favor of open-vm-tools. For more information, see Compatibility Notes section of this release notes.
  • Virtual Network Adapter filtering:: The configuration option to exclude network interfaces from GuestInfo and set primary and low priority network interfaces is added to the tools.conf configuration file.
  • ASLR support: Address space layout randomization support for VMware Tools

Very interesting are the offline bundles VIB which can be deployed using vSphere Update Manager to vSphere 5.5 and later ESXi hosts. Great for manageability!

And finally, it’s also possible to use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for distributing and updating VMware Tools on your VMs. Which will also be appreciated by customers that are using this tool for manage all guest software.

I still don’t like that VMware Tools remain the same for desktop (Workstation, Player and Fusion) and Server (vSphere) virtualization because some features are available (or make sense) only on one of those environments and for server virtualization you need the better code as possible.

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