VIX API allows users to automate the management of VMs, such as APIs used to start/stop VMs. It supports most products from VMware, including Player, Sever, Workstation, Fusion and vSphere (though VIX API is deprecated as there is a vSphere API).


After VIX API is installed, you will have a powerful command – vmrun, which leverages the powerful VIX API to provide a similar command line interface for VMware-based VMs, like virsh for KVM.

Take VMware Player and its VMs for example:

Start the VM without GUI

vmrun -T player start “path/to/yourVM.vmx” nogui

1.Start the VM

vmrun -T player start "path/to/yourVM.vmx"

2.Stop the VM

vmrun -T player stop "path/to/yourVM.vmx"
vmrun -T player stop "path/to/yourVM.vmx" soft
vmrun -T player stop "path/to/yourVM.vmx" hard

3.List all possible commands supported by vmrun

vmrun -h

If you want to control VMs in VMware Workstation, you need change “player” to “ws”, like:

vmrun -T ws start "path/to/yourVM.vmx" nogui

Issues with vmrun nogui

Once you start VM with nogui and login the VM, you may find top/ls do not work normally. The same case happens if you try to compile the kernel (make menuconfig). Adding the fix into .profile helps.

# top
‘xterm-256color’: unknown terminal type.

add "export TERM=xterm" into .profile