Can I shutdown/startup a VM from a command prompt?

Posted on 2008-10-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I want to be able to shutdown and startup virtual machines on my ESXi server from another VM on the same server.
Obviously shutting down is easy enough.  But can I issue a command (automatically from a script) to the ESXi Host that starts up a VM hosted on it?  (Using only the free version of ESXi)
Question by:touch-base
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Accepted Solution

bmonroe44 earned 70 total points
ID: 22815124
vmware-cmd vmfs/volume/vmfslabel/VMName/VMName.vmx stop trysoft
vmware-cmd vmfs/volume/vmfslabel/VMName/VMName.vmx stop hard
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Doades
Andrew Doades earned 60 total points
ID: 22815321
there is a command that comes with vmware server, not sure about ESXi

The following command will start the virtual machine named ScriptStart1:

vmrun -T server -h https://dhcp-122:8333/sdk -u root -p rootpass start [standard] ScripitStartVM1/ScriptStartVM1.vmx

the vmrun is a exe in the vmware program files folder.

Hope this helps

Expert Comment

ID: 22815415
I neglected to say that with the free version of ESXi you will not be able to make a script as the command appliance is read-only. You can however issue commands through it to shutdown a VM as described above.
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Assisted Solution

hilmarusd earned 60 total points
ID: 22817343
If you're using VMWare Server 2.0 (free version) on a windows server host, you can use the following:

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server>vmrun -T server -h https://localhost:8333/sdk -u myusername -p mypassword stop "C:\Virtual Machines\ServerName\ServerName.vm"

Just make sure you have the right permissions for the username you specify or you'll get "Error: Insufficient permissions in host operating system."
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:Bryan Butler
Bryan Butler earned 60 total points
ID: 22818652
And to shut it down, I guess you would send the "shutdown" command.  So in powershell, that would be:

& "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmrun" -gu user -gp password runProgramInGuest "C:\VMs\Virtual Machines\VM177VistaBizBase\Windows Vista.vmx" C:\Windows\System32\shutdown

If you were running local.  I guess the -T and stuff if not.  Does that work?

Expert Comment

ID: 22832644
I need to update my previous statement as that command line is invalid.  Here is the appropriate command line to start, stop, suspend, etc. a virtual server host in VMWare Server 2.0:

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmrun -T server -h https://localhost:8333/sdk -u myusername -p mypassword start "[standard] Coyote/Coyote.vmx"

Note that you need to put the storage device in square brackets before the name/vmxname.vmx.  Normally it's [standard] unless you're using a special storage device.  Also note the forward slash between virtual server name and the vmx filename instead of a back slash.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31510437
Thx guys - splitting points here best I can

Author Comment

ID: 23052696
Thx guys

I also found this article helpful (for shuttng down the host)
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Bryan Butler
ID: 23053486
Thanks for the points, question, and excellent link.  

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