Generate Virtual Machine Shortcut for ESXi 4

There are many couple of things I liked in VMware Server 2, one of them being the ability to create desktop shortcuts to a VM. Simple things like this are just taken for granted, until I tried the new hypervisor ESXi 4. Time to hit the search engine! (I refuse to call Google a friend, the cheesy part being least of my concern)

Someone apparently had the same problem (The internet is a great counselor; it provides relief to grief by telling you that someone out there shares the same fate as you) and gave a solution. For this we need VMware Remote Console from either Workstation or Server; I only attempted this with Server though.

  1. Create a shortcut to vmware-vmrc.exe either by selecting “Generate Virtual Machine Shortcut” in Server’s web UI or creating it manually.
  2. Get the path to the vmx file. In vSphere Client it’s Inventory > Virtual Machine > Edit Settings… > Options under Virtual Machine Configuration File.
  3. Append arguments to the shortcut in this format:
    <path to vmware-vmrc.exe> -h esxihost -u username -p password -m <path to vmx>

Of course we can leave out the -u and -p options for interactive authentication. For the record, mine look like this:

C:\Users\root\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\646a7374.default\extensions\\plugins\vmware-vmrc.exe -h -m "[datastore] Ubuntu/Ubuntu.vmx"

Edit: There is a vmware-vmrc.exe, e.x.p build-158248, included with VMware vSphere Client (C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\4.0) but I could not get it to work using the arguments given above. If anyone managed to do it (without VMware vSphere Client running) do drop a message.


7 thoughts on “Generate Virtual Machine Shortcut for ESXi 4

  1. I finally got it working with ESXi 4.0 with the following setup:

    “%PROGRAMFILES%\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\4.0\vmware-vmrc.exe” -h hostname -u username -p password -X -d “[datastore1] Ubuntu/Ubuntu.vmx”

    The clue was to replace the -m switch with -d. The -X switch is for full screen mode.

  2. you can run the plugin installed under linux too. mine is located here:


    modify accordingly. havent got an esxi server around this linux box so i cant try. do report your results eh 🙂

  3. hey,
    yes its works on linux (sled 11)
    here is the command
    ./vmware-vmrc -h esxiIP “[datastore1] Test/Test.vmx”

    if you want to see all machine
    ./vmware-vmrc -h esxiIP

  4. Andre’s suggestion worked for me. I have ESXi 3.5 installed on a blade and using the remote console that comes with the VI client, I was able to get the remote console. Much better than VNC or remote desktop.


  5. you all are the greatest!!!
    thank you so much, the missing console on linux was a big problem for my scenario until now

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