currently I've a PC with a Windows Xp on it, there is the VMWare Player installed. In this VMWare Player there is one VM with a Win2000 on it. The Serial Ports (COM1-COM4) from the Host are integrated in the VM.

Now I want to bring the current VM into a ESXi Server (Because of Backup reasons, The XP License of the Host).

I heard about thin clients, which start and automatically connect to the virtual machine located on the ESXi.

Is there any possibility to transfer the Serial Ports from the Host (where we install the Thin Client Software) into the VM Located on the ESXi Server? I heard that this is supported since RDP 7, what is not implemented in W2k, only starting WXP. Which software can I install on this PC?

Then is there any possibility to run the VM on the ESXi only when the Thin Client is started? Thin Client powered on = VM started Thin Client powered off = VM stopped

Thanks for your Help


You certainly can have the VM migrated to ESXi, this would be rather easy.

Windows 2000 terminal services indeed did not support com port redirection via virtual circuits, but you might try to mimic this functionality through one of the freely available com port redirector software packages. If you do not have a Windows 2000 Server but only a Professional edition running, you would not have Terminal Services available anyway and have to access the VM through the vSphere client, a "thin client" would not be of any use.

As for automatic startup and shutdown of the VM - this would be supported by VMWare's VDI product - Horizon View, but this is an entirely different product line with a different license and a different communication protocol. If you need this functionality with stock ESXi, you would need to script it by yourself.

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  • ON the VM there is the Win 2000 Desktop Version. On the machine only one user need to connect. There never connect more than one people to this Virtual Machine. For me ATM is not clear what I've to install on the PC (there is no OS on it) to access to the Virtual Machine located on ESXi (with redirecting the Serial Ports). – brokedid May 22 '13 at 21:49
  • @brokedid you would need a recent Windows client OS, the VMWare vSphere client and the COM port redirector package of your choice (with the counterpart of it installed on your Windows 2000 VM). – the-wabbit May 22 '13 at 21:52

Regarding the serial ports - seriously consider using an ethernet serial server, such as the DigiBoard port server TS series. You can install the drivers into the VM guest OS, and put the serial server anyplace on your network.

Alternatively, you can connect a VM guest to the physical ports on the ESXi server.

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  • I thought about recommending a serial server myself, but the trouble is that like Digi, most manufacturers specify the supported OSes as "Windows XP®, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server® 2008, Windows Vista®, Windows 7". When Windows 2000 is unsupported, there is not much point buying one. Industrial solutions might still support older OSes, but they likely would be out of the price range. – the-wabbit May 23 '13 at 7:33

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