Linux VMWare Server 2: Start / Stop VMs From a Shell Prompt

Posted on in Categories Linux, News, Storage, Tips, vmware, Windows, Windows server last updated October 29, 2008

You can easily start / stop / pause or take a snapshot from a shell prompt under a Linux / Windows host using vmrun command. This is useful if you do not want to run web interface for starting and/or stopping VMs.

vmrun commands

vmrun -u USER -h ‘https://vmware.server.com:8333/sdk’ -p PASSWORD COMMAND [PARAMETERS]
OR
vmrun -u USER -h ‘https://vmware.server.com:8333/sdk’ -p PASSWORD start “[storage] Path/to/.vmx”

Where,
=> -u USER : VMWare server username

=> -h ‘https://vmware.server.com:8333/sdk’ : Local or remote server FQDN / IP address

=> -p PASSWORD : VMWare server password

=> COMMAND [PARAMETERS] : Command can be any one of the following:

POWER COMMANDS           PARAMETERS           DESCRIPTION
--------------           ----------           -----------
start                    Path to vmx file     Start a VM
                         [gui|nogui]

stop                     Path to vmx file     Stop a VM
                         [hard|soft]

reset                    Path to vmx file     Reset a VM
                         [hard|soft]

suspend                  Path to vmx file     Suspend a VM
                         [hard|soft]

pause                    Path to vmx file     Pause a VM

unpause                  Path to vmx file     Unpause a VM

Start a VM called CentOS

To start a virtual machine with Vmware server 2.0 on a Linux host, stored on storage called iscsi:
vmrun -T server -h 'https://vms.nixcraft.in:8333/sdk' -u root -p 'secrete' start "[iSCSI] CentOS52_64/CentOS52_64.vmx"
To start a virtual machine with Workstation on a Windows host (open command prompt by visiting Start > Run > cmd > [enter] key):
vmrun -T ws start "c:\My VMs\centos\centos.vmx"

Stop a VM called CentOS

To stop a virtual machine with Vmware server 2.0 on a Linux host, stored on storage called iscsi:
vmrun -T server -h 'https://vms.nixcraft.in:8333/sdk' -u root -p 'secrete' stop "[iSCSI] CentOS52_64/CentOS52_64.vmx"

Reset a VM called Debian

To reset a virtual machine with Vmware server 2.0 on a Linux host, stored on storage called DISK3:
vmrun -T server -h 'https://sun4k.nixcraft.co.in:8333/sdk' -u root -p 'secrete' reset "[DISK3] Debian5/Debian5.vmx"

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

5 comment

  1. @ james
    [storage] is most likely “[standard]” in case you haven’t changed your default storage or the vm is saved in a different storage.
    You can get your storage in the web interface when your click on your vm in “inventory” then go to summary . Scroll down to “hardware” and click on your harddisk and choose “edit”. At the top of the window you can see your datastore under “disk image”.

  2. Or, just use the list command from the previous article. It will list the [storage] along with the image item.

  3. Thank you, so usefull.
    I was trying for a while until added “[standard] ” to the virtual machine route (as you explain in previous article).

  4. fantastic points altogether, you just gained emblem new|a new} reader. What would you recommend about your submit that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

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