VM Tools for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x

VMware offers software packages including additional applications and drivers for the most support guest operating systems – these packages are also called VMware Tools. Beside recent operating systems also older releases are supported – e.g. there are also Tools for Windows NT.

vmtools-w16

vmtools-w16

Unfortunately MS-DOS and Windows 3.x are not supported, yet – even if there are still some special use-cases. During a recent customer project I stumbled upon a ERP landscape which consisted of a metro cluster with 150 Windows 3.x VMs. For implementing this several tweaks and hacks were necessary – especially regarding drivers a plenty of customizations were necessary. To automate this process I decided to develop custom VM tools. This was the only way to complete the project in a reasonable time/usage releationship.

Currently these VM tools offer the following features:

  • Time synchronization between ESXi host and VM
  • CPU idle support
  • FAT12 and FAT16 shrinking support
  • Experimental 100 Mbit/s network support
  • Intel 8086 Turbo button emulation
  • Emulating 5,25″ floppy drives and their sounds for a better user experience

The source code is published on GitHub, I also opened a feature request at VMware to include the code into the official VMware Tools base.

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