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+.

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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”.

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