I am trying to run a VM on VMWare Workstation in sort of 'background' mode, basically I want to start it without a console and connect to it via ssh only. Is it possible?

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Yes it is possible. You can do this with the "vmrun" command using the "nogui" option:

 vmrun -T ws start /export/vmware/rh5/server.vmx nogui

The VM will then come up without starting the Workstation GUI and you can ssh to it.

If your host os is Windows change the path to:

vmrun -T ws start C:\export\vmware\rh5\server.vmx nogui
  • 3
    This worked for me!, this should be the correct Answer! – Joyal Nov 21 '15 at 13:17
  • FYI, I had to download VMware VIX to get the vmrun command – Mark Rucker Jul 21 '17 at 18:35

You can start the VM in workstation and then you simply close the tab that it's open on. Workstation will ask you if you want to power off, suspend, or background that virtual machine.

  • interesting...gotta try that! – Alex N Nov 28 '09 at 22:42
  • 2
    didn't work for me: it just closed and suspended the vm. – rivimey Jan 20 '16 at 14:46
  • It works fine! Thanks! Much more faster than command line solution... You can close main GUI after closing tab. It will "sit" in the system tray. – Maxim Mar 20 '17 at 11:11

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