I'm testing ESXi 5.0U1 on a small box. One VM for testing and all setup for auto start VM on boot but the VM don't come up.

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If this is Esxi 5.0U1 with the free license, autostarting VMs is known broken.


Like @rackandboneman says, ESXi 5.0U1 with the free licence broke autostart of VMs. I updated, but had to roll back, because I rely on autostart. Here's a thread on HardForum where a VMware employee (lopoetve) confirms it: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1681128

Here's an official blog post confirming the issue, and explaining it in more detail, aswell as rollback guide: http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/03/free-esxi-hypervisor-auto-start-breaks-with-50-update-1.html

If you are running the free version of ESXi (aka ESXi Hypervisor) then you'll want to be aware of a critical issue that surfaces after upgrading to 5.0 Update 1. I want to stress this only applies to people runing the free ESXi version. If you're ESXi hosts are licensed this issue does not affect you.

There were some changes made in the way the ESXi APIs are accessed in Update 1 that unfortunately breaks the VM Auto Start feature in the free ESXi version. Please note that this issue only affects the free ESXi version and it was not intentional.

More detailed rollback guide: http://boubchir.co.uk/vm-blog/roll-back-esxi-5-0-update-1-to-esxi-5-0/ (Do at your own risk!)

  • 2
    One could use vim-cmd in a script started from rc.local if really needed. But then, in the small environments you use ESXi free in autostart is overrated - if you are doing maintenance then start your VMs when its over, if the machine crashes with a PSOD or hang or reboots spontaneously you want to do a modicum of investigation before letting a stampede of VMs loose on a damaged machine. – rackandboneman May 24 '12 at 8:06
  • But it will be very helpful in a small environment after powerfail. I ended up with yours in rc.local adding lines like this (sleep 30;vim-cmd vmsvc/power.on 8) & – PeterMmm Jun 28 '12 at 13:53

I wrote a blog post a couple of days ago that has a workaround for this. Hopefully someone will find it useful :)


  • That link is broken: "Este sitio ha sido suspendido." – Rob Kennedy Jan 10 '14 at 20:13

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