As the Beginner's Guide said, the vmware-vmx process does the real work
of running the virtual machine while the Fusion UI process handles
input and drawing. If you don't need the UI process, you can kill the
UI process after you start the VM (e.g. ctrl-option-clicking the Fusion
Dock icon and Force Quitting). The vmware-vmx process should continue
to run in the background. You can reconnect to it by starting Fusion
again and opening the VM.
In Fusion 2.0, an easier way is to run the following command in a Terminal Window:
defaults write com.vmware.fusion fluxCapacitor -bool YES
This will add a View menu item, "Headless". If you use this option, you
probably should also use the signal config options mentioned in the
Scripting section of this document to allow you to safely shut down the
physical machine without having to reconnect to the virtual machine.
I believe the VM continues running even if you log out, since the vmware-vmx process is root-owned.
The "defaults write com.vmware.fusion fluxCapacitor -bool YES" no longer works, apparently.
The nogui option refuses to start the VM from the CLI without one being logged in. It does still show up as an option with the vmrun binary.
The point being is that on a system boot, I have certain VM's that need to start with out a user being logged in. This appears to be broken in 3 versus 2.
Force quitting is not an option for my needs.
The entire point of having a headless mode is so I don't have to mess with the gui.
I could deal without the menu item, though that's a bit of a pain, as I have VNC consoles already set up.
Consider that there isn't a "server" product for Mac, the headless mode on Fusion is what I was running my VM servers on at home.
But, if VMware is going to do silly things like this, then I've already loaded up and am testing VirtualBox. At least there it's a recognized feature.
The sad thing is that I was running VMware, and have been a loyal customer of Fusion pretty much exclusively until this. Way to get your customers thinking about using the competitors, VMware!
Though, from the other issues I'm seeing on the forums, Fusion 3 is not nearly as ready for prime-time as I had hoped it would be...overall, as a customer, I'm just plain disappointed.
Count me in as another Fusion user for whom the headless option is essential (I have a VM that I need started at boot time to run some essential services for the home LAN).
I'd like to see an official statement from VMware about whether this feature was deliberately removed or whether it's an accident. I know the drill about not commenting on future plans, but some of us have been using this.
I can't really fathom why it should be taken out since it is part of the presumbably relatively portable vmrun / vmx core code.
I'd like to see an official statement from VMware about whether this feature was deliberately removed or whether it's an accident.
Fusion 3 has a bunch of work to improve the display model. I don't know the specifics, but my general recollection is that in making those changes, there were some corner cases we didn't get to iron out with headless mode. Management wasn't keen on spending $TIME to fix unsupported features, so it got removed. We know it's a feature that people miss, but you do indeed know the drill about not commenting on future plans.
Well, I've got VirtualBox's headless mode working on boot. So if VMware manangement isn't keen on keeping Fusion's headless mode working, I'm not keen on spending my $$$ on a product that does not suit my needs.
This is a show-stopper for me. So, until it get's replaced and fixed up, I'm done with Fusion.
OK, thanks for the response. So we know there's a rationale for this and, while I'm obviously disappointed, I'm happy to know the actual situation rather than just guessing.
I'm not in a rush to upgrade, and some demand for this feature has been registered so hopefully it will come back in a supported fashion in some future version (that cannot be commented upon until it is ready). There's obviously a lot of higher priority stuff that needs fixing first. Thems the breaks.
Thanks for your comment etung.
This is definitely an issue for me, and until it gets resolved I will resolutely not be spending the money on an upgrade from 2. I do lots of Linux development on server environments, so headless mode is invaluable for me (and indeed my entire team, who will also not be receiving the upgrade license, since I don't believe the upgrade to be worth our money).
Very disappointed, but since 2.0.x is still working I will continue to use that until VirtualBox reaches the point where it's useful to us again. I hope this issue can be resolved with Fusion 3 before that time, as I've been very happy with Fusion 2.
Thanks for the response etung.
I'd like to concur with what intranation said; I use VMWare Fusion VMs in headless mode for Linux based web development, and am currently incredibly happy with V2.
I will not be upgrading, or recommending upgrades, until V3 supports this feature to, at least, the level of support in V2.
many thanks to etung for the explanation.
For me Fusion is a great tool to develop Linux based appliances, running servers (if I need X11, I use the server on the OS X host). So, I really miss the headless mode very much.
I'm a long time happy Fusion user from the first pre release, and upgraded through all the updates, but, I'm sorry, I will not upgrade to Fusion 3 without headless mode.
Also, I'm planning to port all my development vm to VirtualBox which is now, for my needs, far more versatile than Fusion regarding headless mode and scripted configuration and management: the only reason I'm remaining with Fusion 2 is it's small advantage regarding virtual network DHCP server configuration... but there are issues even with it! (If someone is interested, please se my other unaswered post).
I accept that VMware will not comment on future plan, but could you give us some other trick, if exist, like the old "defaults write com.vmware.fusion ..." since, I guess, for many of us, killing the Fusion UI process is not an option.
Many thanks and kind regards,