How to enable VNC remote console in VMware Player

If you want to access a guest VM console of VMware Player running on a remote host, you can use a VNC-based remote console. VMware Player 5 has a built-in VNC support available. Then you can use any VNC client to access a guest VM console running on a remote host.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to enable and access VNC remote console in VMware Player. There are two different ways to enable VNC on guest VMs created by VMware Player.

The first method is to edit virtual machine settings of your VM via VMware Player GUI. Click on "Options" tab, and select "VNC Connections" setting. Then you can enable VNC connections, and specify VNC password/port number, as shown below.

The second method to enable VNC is to edit *.vmx file of your VM manually. This method is useful when you cannot use VMware Player GUI for any reason. Edit *.vmx file of your VM to add the following information. Choose a unique port number for each concurrently running VM.

RemoteDisplay.vnc.enabled = "TRUE"
RemoteDisplay.vnc.port = "5950"
RemoteDisplay.vnc.password = "your_password"

Once you enable VNC for your VM, and power on the VM, VNC server will start running on the specified port number.

To access remote console of the VM, launch VNC client from any host, and connect to the VNC server. Here I use vinagre, a VNC client for GNOME Desktop.

To install vinagre on Ubuntu or Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install vinagre

To install vinagre on CentOS, Fedora or RHEL:

$ sudo yum install vinagre

To launch vinagre after installation, just run it:

$ vinagre

Once vinagre is launched, connect to the remote VNC server by providing VNC server host information (e.g., 192.168.1.10:5950), and clicking on "Connect". Once connected to the VNC server, you will see the remote console of your VM as follows.


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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

2 thoughts on “How to enable VNC remote console in VMware Player

    • The built-in VNC server of VMware Player does not support clipboard integration. You will need to use third-party VNC server/viewer (e.g., RealVNC) which have copy and paste functionality built-in.

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