Fedora on Workstation Pt.3: Mouse Shortcuts

In part 1 and part 2 of this post, I walked you through the pains of getting a Fedora virtual machine running in a performant way on VMware Workstation 14 with full guest OS integration. Today it’s time for the next challenge – getting extended mouse buttons to work in the guest.

The problem: I always prefer mice that have shortcut buttons for going back and forward in a browser. I find it easier than mouse gestures and is part of my muscle memory. Still when I ran the browser (Opera, obviously) inside the Fedora VM for the first time I had the terrible realization that the buttons do not work.

The problem is that the host’s mouse is by default exposed as a generic Human Interface Device that lacks these buttons. To work around this, Workstation needs to allow the Guest OS to see the actual physical device – which means give access to the USB interface. I didn’t find any settings for this. A stack exchange post hinted me about the right .vmx file settings:

usb.generic.allowHID = "TRUE"
mouse.vusb.enable = "TRUE"
mouse.vusb.useBasicMouse = "FALSE"

Restart the virtual machine to see your mouse buttons working again.

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