VMware Tools, Smooth Mouse, Clipboard Sharing, Auto-Resize on Xorg and FreeBSD

This is a script for a FreeBSD X11 desktop running as a VMWare Virtual Machine Guest. It will enable smooth mouse, clipboard sharing, and auto-resize. Essentially it installs the emulators/open-vm-tools binary package and performs some configuration. If you prefer to have a fully configured desktop environment check out the Installation script for a FreeBSD based MATE desktop.


  • A supported release of FreeBSD
  • VMWare Workstation (any version)
  • X11 hot plugging will be disabled[1]
  • Root access

Tested with FreeBSD 10.3+, 11.x, 12.x.

Step 1 - Run the Script

Run the script from the console as root. This fetch command will download the script and pipe the contents to a shell:

fetch -qo - http://k.itty.cat/3 | sh

To see what the script will do to your computer, use cat instead. There is also a detailed explanation of what happens.

fetch -qo - http://k.itty.cat/3 | cat

Step 2 - Reboot

Reboot your system to make sure the required services and kernel modules are loaded and running.

Start X11 if needed. Copy, paste, and automatic desktop resizing should work. The mouse should also be smooth and automatically switch between the guest and host machines on the edges.

[1] There is a workaround (12-RELEASE or later) to allow hot plugging but it's not currently supported by the script. See bug 244110.

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