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We have a continuous integration box on which VMWare Workstation is installed. It manages all of our virtual machines. Occasionally, IT will restart this box and cause our continuous integration environment to fail because the virtual machines are not started.

I'd like to run N VMWare virtual machines as local services on a Windows XP box to avoid this problem.

  1. Can this be done?
  2. If so, how?
  3. Is running local services the best way to bring VMWare VMs online at startup?
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5 Answers

Get VMware Server and run that for your production machines - or better yet, get ESXi for free on a new piece of hardware.

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In VMware Server and Fusion (based on Workstation), you can set VMs to start on startup of the host machine.

I presume there is a similar setting in Workstation.

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  1. You don't need VMWare Server. If you've got Workstation then you can control VM's with the vmrun command:

    vmrun -T ws start C:\export\vmware\rh5\server.vmx nogui

This will start them in the background. You could script these for running at startup or as part of your CI build process.

  1. What CI tool are you using? The mighty hudson has a nice vmware plugin that can start VM's for you. That way you could have hudson started under something like tomcat and then it will take care of starting VM's.
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Do you use Hudson on Windows? What sorts of things do you use it for? –  mfinni Jan 12 '10 at 17:35
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You'll need to use VMware server to do so and use for example start/stop scripts relying on vmware-cmd.bat to properly start and stop vms on the host. (You must not have spaces in the path to your vms othervise it would not work).

Hope this helps.

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As local services? can you be clearer on this please.

It sounds to me like you just need to stop your IT guys restarting this box, that or get another box with VMWare Workstation to run yourself.

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