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vmware esxi, vmrc character limit for target in shortcut?

Posted on 2010-08-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Is there a 64 character limit in the -m parameter of the vmrc command line?

I have one guest with 65 characters in the -m "[datastore1] folder/vm_name.vmx" parameter, and I can't connect to it using vmrc.  Other guests with less than 64 characters work fine.

(I don't know how to find the MOID to try the -M option and verify that I can connect that way).

I'm getting errors trying to connect to a guest using VMRC from 2 different machines.  One a Win7 workstation, the error is:

Unable to connect to the MKS: Could not connect to pipe \\.\pipe\vmware-authdpipe: The system cannot find the file specified.

From another workstation, I get an error about username/password.
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Question by:snowdog_2112
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bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33495316
Looking at your test case it would appear that you are hitting a character limit, but have not been able to find any documentation to support that.

From this post on VMware server 2 (http://communities.vmware.com/message/999988) to find the MOID

" you can specify the VM by either datastore path, or managed object ID (a.k.a. "Moe ID"). You can determine the moid for a VM by looking at vmInventory.xml in /etc/vmware/hostd/ or %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware Server\hostd as appropriate."

The vmInventory.xml file also works for ESX/ESXi to find the MOID.

If you are on the VMware Server 2.x platform you could also obtain an newer version of vmware-vmrc by installing either (1) the vSphere 4.1 client, or (2) the VMware Guest Console (VGC) Fling from http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vgc. I don't know if that alleviates the 64 character limit but it might be worth a try.

Good Luck
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by:bgoering
ID: 33495348
Also note that if using the path (rather than the MOID) don't actually include the -m parameter. It should be:

vmware-vmrc -h hostname:port -u <username> -p <password> "[datastore1] folder/vm_name.vmx"

From what I have been able to determine including the -m can cause your login errors.
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by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33503179
I think you can use -m (lowercase) for the path, and -M (uppercase)when specifying the MOID (i.e., case sensitive).

The same command works for the other Server 2003 guests on this esxi host, which leads me back to the character limit - the non-working guest is the only one near/past 64 characters.

I'll try the moid - if I can find that - and report back.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33503224
AHA!  That seems to be the case:

-m "[datastore1] path/filename.vmx"  format must be less than 64 characters, and must have a space after the [datastore] name.

-M 64 where the "64" is the moid found in the  /etc/vmware/hostd/vmInventory.xml file works.

Maybe this can be considered documentation to verify this for someone else!
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Author Closing Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33503242
-m "[datastore] path/filename.vmx
must be less than 64 characters including the "[ ]"'s and all spaces.

-M [n]
where [n] is the moid - do not include the "[" and "]" in the command line.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 34034850
bgoering -

You are correct about the -m (lowercase) when connecting to an ESX/ESXi host.  The -m can be used when connecting to a VMware Server 2.x host.

In fact, if you include -m when connecting to an ESX host, the vmrc window does not even pop open.  That was a head-scratcher for me for a while.

oh..and in my previous post, I see I forgot the closing " on the first line.  It should be:

-m "[datastore] path/filename.vmx"
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