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VMware Tools 11.0 Released New Features

VMware released new version VMware Tools 11.0 recently with great new features. When you perform an upgrade of the vSphere environments with the latest vSphere releases, VMware tools also need to be upgraded. Since VMware has decoupled VMware Tools from the actual vSphere version running, no need to wait until you upgrade your environment to the new release to benefit from the latest Tools release. Let’s take a look at VMware Tools 11.0 released new features to see the benefits of upgrading to this latest VMware Tools version.

Vmware is releasing their new vSphere version or updates which is highly matured and they are doing architectural changes to the VMware Tools portion of the vSphere infrastructure to make more useful for their customers. Nowadays VMware drivers are available through the Windows Update channels to minimize the reboots and drives are available outside of the VMware Tools package itself. VMware has made both the VMCI driver available, as well as others like the PVSCSI and VMXNET3 drivers as well.

Another important change to VMware Tools in this new release is the use of Visual Studio 2017 as the kernel space compiler ,  VMware has split out the monolithic AppDefense driver into 2 separate drivers. This includes the glxgi.sys and giappdef.sys drivers . Going back to the minimized reboots use case, this helps to eliminate reboots since the splitting of drivers means VMware can replace the user-mode components without the reboot.

Another new component in this release is the AppInfo component that collects information about running apps and stores these in a guest variable. This will be information that can be used for troubleshooting. It will allow vSphere administrators to gather details about systems using the new AppInfo component. The AppInfo tool queries the system every 30 minutes by default but this is customizable.

What’s New

  • Better integration with Microsoft Update Service. Updated drivers (pvscsi, vmxnet3 and vmci) will be made available through the same service for Windows Server 2016 and later when the driver publication process completes.
  • Upgraded compiler for VMware Tools drivers to Microsoft Visual Studio 2017.
  • VMware Tools is notarized for MacOS 10.14.5 starting with VMware Tools 11.0.0 release.
  • Added support for additional driver for AppDefense. This enables AppDefense guest module to be upgraded without reboot, thus keeping system protection intact. For more details, see Integration of VMware AppDefense with VMware Tools.
  • Added appInfo to publish information about running applications inside the guest. For more details, see VMware Tools Services.
  • Added capability for guest admin to control automatic upgrade and adding or removing features. For more details, see Configuring Automatic Upgrade and Installation or Removal of a Component.
  • Added support for GDI Hardware Acceleration to the WDDM 1.1 driver.
  • Provided sample tool.conf for ease of administration. For details, see Configuration File Location.
  • Resolved Issues: There are some issues that are resolved in this release of VMware Tools which are documented in the Resolved Issues section of this release notes.

Before You Begin

  • VMware Tools 11.0.0 supports the following guest operating systems:
    • windows.iso supports Windows Vista and later. 
      • VMware Tools 11.0.0 depends on and ships Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019. While preparing the system for VMware Tools 11.0.0 installation, Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019 is installed on the system as a prerequisite. Installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 11.0.0 is not supported for Windows versions that do not meet the prerequisites and customers should continue to use VMware Tools 10.2.x or older until they can patch or update Windows OS to meet the prerequisites for VMware Tools 11.0.0. Refer to Microsoft’s update KB2977003 for latest supported Visual C++ downloads.
      • Windows OS level prerequisites
        • Windows Server 2019
        • Windows Server 2016
        • Windows 10
        • Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft update KB2919355
        • Windows 8.1 with Microsoft update  KB2919355
        • Windows Server 2012
        • Windows 8
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
        • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
        • Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2)
        • Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)
    • darwin.iso supports Mac OS X versions 10.11 and later.
    • For details on linux.iso, refer to VMware Tools 10.3.20 Release Notes.
    • For details on solaris.iso, refer to VMware Tools 10.3.10 Release Notes.
  • VMware Tools ISO images are frozen for some end of life guest operating systems. Some ISO images are not included with ESXi in the tools-light VIB. For more details, see the VMware Tools Documentation page. All VMware Tools ISO images are available for download from http://my.vmware.com.
  • VMware Tools for Windows: 32-bit and 64-bit installer executable (.exe) files are available for download. These files are provided for easier access and installation of VMware Tools in Windows guest operating systems.

Important note about upgrading to ESXi 5.5 Update 3b or later

Resolution on incompatibility and general guidelines: While upgrading ESXi hosts to ESXi 5.5 Update 3b or ESXi 6.0 Update 1 or later, and using older versions of Horizon View Agent, refer to the knowledge base articles:

Refer  Release Notes  for more details