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VMware Workstation 5.5

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Restricting the User Interface

The restricted user interface affects only the specific virtual machines for which the setting has been made. The following changes are made when you enable the restricted user interface:

  • The toolbar is always hidden.
  • All functions on the Power menu are disabled.
  • All functions on the Snapshot menu and snapshot functions on the toolbar are disabled.
  • There is no access to the virtual machine settings editor from the VMware Workstation window.
  • The user cannot change virtual networking settings.
  • The user starts the virtual machine by double-clicking the configuration file (.vmx file) or a desktop shortcut to that file. The virtual machine powers on automatically. At the end of the working session, the user shuts down by closing the virtual machine (File > Exit).
  • It is also possible to launch VMware Workstation, then open a restricted-interface virtual machine from the virtual machine list or the File menu.

    The changes needed to enable the restricted user interface must be made by a user with sufficient privileges to edit the virtual machine's configuration file and to set file permissions as described below.

    Take the following steps to enable the restricted user interface.

    1. Power off the virtual machine and close the VMware Workstation window, then open the virtual machine's configuration file (.vmx file) in Notepad or another text editor. Add the following line anywhere in the file:

    gui.restricted = "true"

    2. You may wish to set file permissions on the configuration file to give normal users of the system only read access to the file, so they cannot manually modify the configuration.

    3. For the convenience of users, create a shortcut to the configuration file on the desktop and give it an appropriate name.

    Note: Although the restricted user interface provides no access to menu and toolbar controls for the snapshot, you may choose to give the user limited snapshot control. If you set up a snapshot for the restricted virtual machine and set the power-off option to Ask me, the user sees the standard dialog box when shutting down a virtual machine and has the opportunity to choose Just power off, Take snapshot or Revert to snapshot.

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