Input focus stays with vmware guest when host gets locked

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Problem :

I am using a combination of xautolock and slimlock to automatiacally lock my machine if it does not receive input.


xautolock -locker /usr/bin/ -time 5 &



if pidof gnome-mplayer 
    echo "gnome-mplayer is not running"

    echo "Watching Video, not locking screen"

Only recently I discovered that this is a problem, when I have a VMWare guest running in the foreground. What happens is that when the lock-screen is engaged the keyboard input seems to remain with my vmware-guest so I cannot unlock my host system.

Does anyone know how I could ensure that input focus is transferred back to my host before the system is locked?

Solution :

The easiest way to deal with this is to install VMware Tools in the guest, so that your system never has to lock the keyboard/mouse to the guest in the first place.

If you don’t want to do a full VMware Tools install, you can probably get by with just enabling the vmmouse X driver in the guest in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, something like:

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     "Default Layout"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
        InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"  # Add this line to this section

# Add this section
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier "Mouse0"
        Driver "vmmouse"
        Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

This sample was taken from a working system where I had to manually enable the guest integration as it wasn’t autodetected.

I had the same problem on my windows pc. To be able to enter the password, I had to press Ctrl + Alt to transfer focus to the unlock screen. This is not a real solution, because there is no way to see why the keyboard is not working in the unlock screen. But I hope this might help someone. See also this VMware KB entry.

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