Disable touch input in VMware Fusion or Workstation

SwipeWin81Since last years release of VMware Workstation (9.0) it is possible to pass through touch input to your virtual machine. While this definitely is a nice feature if you’re using a touch-enabled computer it isn’t particular useful on a non-touch system.

By default the touch input is only enabled for touch-enabled operating systems like Windows 8. Normally this is fine but with Windows 8.1 Microsoft has introduces some annoying help dialogs to get you to know all the swipe gestures available. Unfortunately I can’t “Swipe in from the edge to go back to the lsat app you were using” on my MacBook.

You can of course disable those messages using some Windows setting but why not disable the touch input completely if it isn’t used after all?

To disable touch input you have to open the .vmx file of your virtual machine and change the parameter

touchscreen.vusb.present = "TRUE"


touchscreen.vusb.present = "FALSE"

This also applies to VMware Fusion.

Release: VMware Workstation and Fusion Technology Preview 2013

In case you missed it: VMware released the Technology Preview 2013 versions of VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion. Both releases are packed with new features:

VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2013

  • Creating and running Virtual Machines using the latest operating systems – Window 8.1, Ubuntu 13.04, Fedora 18 etc.
  • Running Restricted virtual machines with an expiration date
  • Converting physical machines to virtual machines
  • Graphics performance and multi-monitor support
  • Performance of Virtual Machines running up to 16 vCPUs
  • General stability, application compatibility and usability

Link: VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2013

Welcome to the VMware Fusion Technology Preview 2013

  • Creating large VMs on appropriately equipped Macs (16 vCPUs, 64GB RAM)
  • Dictation Support
  • Network handling when running VMware ESX as a guest
  • Restricted virtual machines with an expiration date
  • PC Migration Assistant
  • Virtual Machine Compatibility pane under Settings
  • Improved handling of the Command/Windows key under Windows 8
  • General stability and correctness

Link: VMware Fusion Technology Preview 2013

Most interesting for me are the enhancements to the restricted virtual machines feature. This feature allows you to restrict virtual machines in a way that users can’t change anything at the VM hardware level and even set an expiration date for a virtual machine. In combination with Mirage this is really nice solution for BYOD use cases.

I personally running the Fusion Technology Preview for a few now on my production system and hadn’t had any issues performance and stability wise.