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\VMwareVMRC@vmware.com\plugins\vmware-vmrc.exe -h 192.168.1.220 -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.

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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:

    /home/smallming/.mozilla/firefox/8af46bd1.default/extensions/VMwareVMRC@vmware.com/plugins/vmware-vmrc

    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.

    Thanks!

  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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