Is it possible to run VMware player as a Windows Service so that a user does not have to be logged in to have the player running?
Vmware Server is the correct tool for running a VM in the background, not Vmware Player.
Sorry for the late responce with this. I was trying to figure this out today. I came across this answer, figured I let SF know.
You can actually ...
Add this to your VMX config file to set VMWare Player not show the UI:
msg.noOk = "TRUE"
Get instsrv.exe from a Windows Server Resource Kit to create your own service
On Startup have a batch file call the service you just made
Step-by-step instructions can be found here:
I know this is an old question, but I searched all over the internet for a solution to this and I couldn't find anything quite as comprehensive as what I'd like to share.
Yes, it's possible to use vmware player as a service for Linux (there's a separate answer for Windows); it's easy and there's no reason I can think of not to do it. It's especially great for hosting a headless server from a headless server.
The other VMware-oriented choice, VMware Server, is deprecated and the only other $0 choice I know of is VirtualBox. If you like that better than VMWare Player, more power to you, but I know VMWare Player and I don't see a reason not to use a well-supported path to get what I want.
Presumably you'll want it to run under a non-root account and start up and shut down at the standard service startup/shutdown times. If that's the case, then here's how to configure it:
Get the daemon package (usually not installed by default):
apt-get install daemon
Download VMware Player and VMware VIX from vmware.com and install them to get the VM engine and VIX's vmrun (command-line control of vm execution) binary.
Add the service to the startup by creating
/etc/init.d/<vm_server_name>. It could look something like this:
#! /bin/bash ### BEGIN INIT INFO # Provides: vm_server_name # Required-Start: $named $remote_fs $syslog # Required-Stop: $named $remote_fs $syslog # Default-Start: 2 3 4 5 # Default-Stop: 0 1 6 # Short-Description: My Server VM # Description: Virtual Machine instance of My Server ### END INIT INFO PATH=/sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin VM="/path/to/vmx_file.vmx" USER_TO_RUN_UNDER="username" if [[ "$USER" == "$USER_TO_RUN_UNDER" ]]; then USER_FLAG="" else USER_FLAG="--user=$USER_TO_RUN_UNDER" fi case "$1" in start) daemon $USER_FLAG -- vmrun -T player start "$VM" nogui &>/dev/null & ;; stop) vmrun -T player suspend "$VM" &>/dev/null while [[ "$(vmrun -T player list | grep -o "$VM")" == "$VM" ]]; do sleep 1 done ;; *) echo "Usage: $0 start|stop" >&2 exit 3 ;; esac
Make the script runnable:
chmod a+x /etc/init.d/vm_server_name
Add the script to the standard linux service startup/shutdown runlevels. The numbers ensure that it is one of the last things started and the first to be shut down:
update-rc.d vm_server_name defaults 99 01
- You'll probably need to 'sudo' all the commands as you're modifying root-owned files.
- I put a loop in so that on shutdown the script doesn't return to the OS until it has completely suspended the guest OS. I don't know if that's needed or not, but it seemed like a good idea. It will definitely slow down shutdown of the host OS, but it is worth it in my opinion.
- If you need to interact with the local GUI of the guest OS, suspend the server by running
/etc/init.d/vm_server_name stopand then start it locally using the VMware player GUI. After finishing, suspend it and run
/etc/init.d/vm_server_name startto start the headless instance again.
It is possible using this very old free microsoft wrapper (google for explanations about srvany): ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-public/reskit/nt40/i386/srvany_x86.exe
Or there are also commercial tools: http://www.coretechnologies.com/products/AlwaysUp/Apps/RunVMwarePlayerAsAService.html