Start and stop VMWARE VPS / virtual machine guest operating system from command line

by on June 30, 2007 · 12 comments· LAST UPDATED July 3, 2007

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Vmware server comes with the nifty vmware-cmd utility. It allows an administrator to perform various operations on a virtual machine from Linux command line / shell prompt such as:

=> Stop / Start VM

=> Get VM status

=> Setup variables

=> Powerdown VM and much more

Task: Lists the virtual machines on the local server

You can list all servers and config file, enter:
# vmware-cmd -l
Output:

/nas/vms/Ubuntu/Ubuntu.vmx
/nas/vms/FreeBSD/FreeBSD.vmx
/nas/vms/OpenBSD/OpenBSD.vmx
/nas/vms/Debian4/Debian4.vmx
/nas/vms/CentOS5/CentOS5.vmx

Turn on VM / Power up VPS

Just pas start option to vmware-cmd,
# vmware-cmd /nas/vms/FreeBSD/FreeBSD.vmx start

To stop VM/VPS, enter:
# vmware-cmd /nas/vms/FreeBSD/FreeBSD.vmx stop

To reset VM/VPS, enter:
# vmware-cmd /nas/vms/FreeBSD/FreeBSD.vmx reset

To suspend VM/VPS, enter:
# vmware-cmd /nas/vms/FreeBSD/FreeBSD.vmx suspend

Find out if OpenBSD VM is on or off:
# vmware-cmd /disk2.vmware/vms/OpenBSD/OpenBSD.vmx getstate
Output:

getstate() = off

vmware-cmd offers other options, please consult VMWARE documentation for more information.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sir Geek July 3, 2007 at 4:04 pm

One minor problem with your 1st command to list the VMs. The command should be vmware-cmd -l

Reply

2 nixCraft July 3, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Sir Geek,

Thanks for the heads up… post has been updated

Reply

3 Husain December 13, 2007 at 2:14 pm

I have installed VMWare Server 1.0.4 on RHEL5.1 64 bit version. When I try to power on a virtual machine the OS panics. I am not a linux expert so I have no idea as to how to deal with this issue. I do not have physical access to the server and remotely I was able to take a screenshot of the panic screen. The last line read “Kernel Panic – not syncing: Fatal exception”.

Your help would be highly appreciated.

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4 Mark Hentov February 26, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Hmm. After a reboot vmware seems not to be running. I can’t connect or start any virtual machines.
What daemons need to be enabled with chkconfig? What modules need to load?

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5 nixCraft February 26, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Try
/etc/init.d/vmware start

Did you upgraded kernel? If so you need to reconfigure vmware
vmware-config.pl -d

Reply

6 Jay May 8, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Thank you!

A friends server went down due to power failure and this info helped me solve the problem.

Where can i get a complete list of such commands?

oh and by the way, you still need to change the -1 to -l (L) because had he not have seen the error we would not have been able to use the info here. Also, please let people know that the information after # vmware-cmd /this/blah/blah is the path and will be different for all users

Cheers and thanks again

Jay

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7 Phil July 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm

vmware-cmd -?

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8 Emil March 4, 2009 at 6:56 am

Hi,
I’m running VMWare on a Fedora Server, and I would like to start/stop the virtual machines withouth VNC-ing to the server, from a terminal window. The thing is that I can’t find vmware-cmd anywhere. Where can I find that?

Reply

9 rmccurdy March 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

batch file startup

for /f “delims=” %%i IN (‘dir/s/b c:\rootwars\*.vmx’) do (
“C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server\vmware-cmd” -v “%%i” start
)

Reply

10 Shivaji June 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Hi Vivek,
Thanks. This information helped me.

Reply

11 David August 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

HI!
how can I restart a machine on vmware remotely?
I mean I have a few vpss on Vmware in my server, now I’d like to restart it remotely from my pc.
thanks:x

Reply

12 anand mb December 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

gud one.. any dumbo can understand.. keep sharing the knowlege & god bless.

Anand MB
Bengaluru

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