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Working with printers, disks, and other devices in VMware Fusion (1014523)

Purpose

This article discusses the best practices for setting up printers, using CD/DVD drives to install software, adding and using USB devices (such as additional hard drives or flash drives), and using Bluetooth devices with VMware Fusion.

Resolution

Click the link to jump to the section pertaining to the device you want to use:

Printers

There are four ways to connect a printer to a virtual machine:
  1. Printer pass-through using the Printer(s) pane of the virtual machine's settings.

  2. The USB pane of the virtual machine's settings. Install the printer as you would on a physical machine. If you connect a USB printer, you must connect a CD/DVD drive to install the software and drivers for your specific printer or download the required software. For more information, see the CDs / DVDs section of this article.

  3. Share the printer from your Mac using Apple's Bonjour protocol. For more information, see Sharing a printer with a Windows virtual machine using Apple Bonjour (1003814).

  4. For networked printers, set your network to bridged and install the printer as you would on a physical computer. You must connect the CD/DVD drive to install the software and drivers or download the required software. For more information, see the CDs / DVDs section of this article.
For more information about these options, see Printing from within a virtual machine in VMware Fusion (1013997).

CDs / DVDs

To use CDs and DVDs in a virtual machine (to install software, for example), you must connect the CD/DVD drive of the Mac to the virtual machine. This can be done when the virtual machine is powered on or powered off.

In Fusion 6.x, 5.x, and 4.x:
  1. With the virtual machine either selected in the Virtual Machine Library or in use, click Virtual Machine > Settings in the Fusion menu bar.
  2. Click CD/DVD.
  3. Ensure the switch beside Enable CD/DVD Drive is ON.
  4. Select SuperDrive from the dropdown, or specify the physical CD/DVD drive you are using.

    Note: If your Mac has multiple CD/DVD drives, you can click Add Device to add additional drives. If you connect multiple CD/DVD drives, make sure that each connected drive specifies a physical CD/DVD drive to use.

  5. Power on the virtual machine and insert the CD or DVD. It is now accessible from the virtual machine.
In Fusion 3.x and earlier:
  1. With the virtual machine either selected in the Virtual Machine Library or in use, click Virtual Machine > Settings in the Fusion menu bar.
  2. Click CDs & DVDs.
  3. Select Connected.
  4. Select Automatically Detect, or specify the physical CD/DVD drive you are using.

    Note: If your Mac has multiple CD/DVD drives, you can click the plus button (+) at the bottom-left corner to add additional drives. If you connect multiple CD/DVD drives, make sure that each connected drive specifies a physical CD/DVD drive to use.

  5. Power on the virtual machine and insert the CD or DVD. It is now accessible from the virtual machine.
Notes:
  • A CD/DVD drive can be connected to only one operating system at a time, and only one virtual machine can use the drive at a time. If it is in use by the virtual machine, disks are not detected by the Mac until you disconnect the CD/DVD drive in the settings or power off the virtual machine.

  • If your CD/DVD drive is connected to the virtual machine, the Eject key on the Mac may not work. In this case, you can send an eject signal from within the virtual machine or manually push the drive to close or open the tray.
If your CD/DVD drive still does not appear in a Windows virtual machine, see Troubleshooting a missing CD/DVD-ROM drive in a Windows virtual machine (1014268).

USB devices

To connect USB devices (including flash drives, but not including USB hubs) to a virtual machine:

Note: You can only connect USB devices to a virtual machine if both the device and the machine are powered on.

  1. With the virtual machine either selected in the Virtual Machine Library or in use, click Virtual Machine > Settings in the Fusion menu bar.

  2. For Fusion 6x and 5.x:
    • Click USB & Bluetooth, then select USB 1.1, USB 2.0, or USB 3.0 (based on the hardware you have) under Advanced USB Options.

    For Fusion 4.x:
    • Click USB & Bluetooth, then click Enable USB 2.0 support.

    For Fusion 3.x and earlier:
    • Click USB Devices, then click Enable USB 2.0 support.

    Note: This option does not exist in Fusion 1.0.x. It was added in Fusion 2.0.

  3. Look in the Connect USB devices section for your USB device.

    Note: Devices are often listed by the manufacturer name, which may be unfamiliar to you.

    If the device is listed, you can use it as you would on a physical machine. Depending on the device, you may have to install the software or drivers that came with it to use it properly. This is the case for devices such as printers. However, most USB hard drives work without installing any software or drivers.
Notes:
If you encounter further issues, see Troubleshooting USB device connection and functionality in a Fusion virtual machine (1027964).

Bluetooth devices

In Fusion 6.x, 5.x, and 4.x, some Bluetooth devices can be shared with the guest. For more information on Bluetooth sharing, see Sharing Bluetooth devices with a virtual machine (2005315).

To use Bluetooth devices in a virtual machine in Fusion 3.x and earlier, you must connect the Mac's Bluetooth receiver to the virtual machine.

Warning: Some wireless mice and keyboards use Bluetooth. If you are using a wireless mouse and keyboard, connecting the Bluetooth receiver to the virtual machine disconnects the wireless mouse and keyboard from the Mac.

To connect the Mac's Bluetooth receiver to the virtual machine:
  1. When the virtual machine is powered on, go to Virtual Machine > USB > Connect Apple Bluetooth USB Host Controller.
  2. Install the Apple Boot Camp drivers. For more information, see Installing Apple hardware drivers (Boot Camp drivers) in a Windows virtual machine (1012885).

Network devices

To access most network devices such as Network Attached Storage and media extenders, you must ensure your virtual machine is configured to use Bridged networking.

To use Bridged networking:
  1. Start Fusion and click Virtual Machine > Settings in the Fusion menu bar.
  2. Select Network Adapter.
  3. For Fusion 6.x and 5.x, select Autodetect under Bridged Networking. For earlier versions of Fusion, select Connect directly to the physical network (Bridged).
  4. Close the settings window and start the virtual machine.
For more information on networking types in Fusion, see Understanding networking types in VMware Fusion (1022264).

Additional Information

FireWire devices and SD cards are not supported in VMware Fusion. To access either of these devices, you can use Fusion's Shared Folders feature to share their connection to the Mac. For more information, see Sharing a folder from your Mac to a virtual machine (1004055).

See Also

Update History

03/31/2010 - Updated "USB" section: Added note that USB 2.0 is only in Fusion 2.0+, added "SD Devices" to "Additional Info" 06/15/2010 - Clarified what "USB devices" might mean 03/04/2011 - Added note about multiple physical CD/DVD drives and section on using Bluetooth devices 03/15/2011 - Added references to Fusion Help for USB behavior in Fusion 3.1 03/29/2012 - Added steps for network attached devices 09/09/2013 - Added Fusion 6.x to Products

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