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Stuck in a VM – to release the mouse press the host key

So everybody and their mother has a virtualization product now. Too bad all the vendors could not standardize on the same key (or key combinations) that releases the mouse from a virtual machine’s (VM) console window. Until that day happens (don’t hold your breath) this post will be my listing of known host key or key combinations by vendor and product for when your mouse is stuck in a VM.

Please leave a comment on any products I have not included and I’ll update the list.

Updated 10.03.08 – corrected key combination for Mac versions and created separate rows for VMware Fusion and Parallels Workstation

Vendor

Host Key

Products

VMware

Ctrl+Alt (Windows and Linux)

ESX, ESXi, Workstation, Server, Player, Ace

VMware

Ctrl-Cmd (Mac)

Fusion

Microsoft

Right Alt

Virtual Server 2005 R2, Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007

Citrix

Ctrl+Alt

XenServer

Virtual Iron

Ctrl+Alt

Virtual Iron 4.x

KVM

Right Ctrl

KVM, Qemu

Sun xVM

Right Ctrl

xVM Server, VirtualBox

Parallels

Ctrl+Alt (Windows)

Workstation

Parallels

Ctrl+Option(Alt) (Mac)

Workstation

 

One of the posts I used as a research reference was Common Virtualization Keyboard Shortcuts from x86virtualization.com. Check out this post for a complete listing all keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft and VMware products besides the one for escaping the mouse from the VM console.

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  • http://blog.scottlowe.org Scott Lowe

    Only one small correction, Rich: VMware Fusion uses Ctrl-Cmd, which on a Mac is distinct and different than Ctrl-Alt. Macs do have an Alt key, but the Cmd key is unique to Macs.

  • http://blog.scottlowe.org Scott Lowe

    Only one small correction, Rich: VMware Fusion uses Ctrl-Cmd, which on a Mac is distinct and different than Ctrl-Alt. Macs do have an Alt key, but the Cmd key is unique to Macs.

  • http://vmetc.com rbrambley

    Thanks for the catch Scott. I have updated the table for Fusion and for th e Mac key combination for Parallels.

  • http://vmetc.com Rich

    Thanks for the catch Scott. I have updated the table for Fusion and for th e Mac key combination for Parallels.

  • http://x86Virtualization.com Bradford Knowlton

    Richard,

    Glad you enjoyed my post at x86Virtualization.com. It is something I wrote a long time ago, and really need to go back and update it. I don’t think much has changed, but there are a few new products out there which I should add.

    Bradford Knowlton
    http://x86virtualization.com/

  • http://x86Virtualization.com Bradford Knowlton

    Richard,

    Glad you enjoyed my post at x86Virtualization.com. It is something I wrote a long time ago, and really need to go back and update it. I don’t think much has changed, but there are a few new products out there which I should add.

    Bradford Knowlton
    http://x86virtualization.com/

  • http://vmetc.com rbrambley

    Bradford,

    Please let me know if you update or write a new post with new product keyboard shortcuts and I’ll definitely make sure the VM /ETC readers know about it! Thanks for proving a great single point of reference.

  • http://vmetc.com Rich

    Bradford,

    Please let me know if you update or write a new post with new product keyboard shortcuts and I\’ll definitely make sure the VM /ETC readers know about it! Thanks for proving a great single point of reference.

  • smed

    Thanks!

    ::shakes fist at microsoft::

  • http://vmetc.com rbrambley

    smed,

    LOL. Sounds like you found this post for similar reasons that made me
    write it!

    *Rich Brambley*
    rbrambley@gmail.com

    VM /ETC <http://feeds2.feedburner.com/%7Er/vmetc/%7E6/2>

    ? Grab this Headline Animator
    <http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/headlineanima…>

  • http://vmetc.com rbrambley

    smed,

    LOL. Sounds like you found this post for similar reasons that made me
    write it!

  • Not Bill Gates

    Also a quick “thank you”. The MS help docs take forever to have that info, or clean links to it. Your note was right there in Google when I looked for help.

  • Pam

    Just an FYI, while the Right Alt key is the host key for all MS virtual machines, this will not release the mouse if you are connecting to a VM via Hyper-V. In Hyper-V it's Alt+Ctrl+Right Arrow

  • Pam

    Sorry, make that Alt+Ctrl+LEFT arrow :)

  • http://vmetc.com rbrambley

    Pam,

    Thanks for the Hyper-V tip

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