8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2007 2:26 AM by cj0 RSS

    Auto start virtual machines upon reboot

    dpuckett Novice

      I am a fairly new Mac user (since Nov) and have a question. I have a 8G Mac Pro that I generally keep 8+ Virtual Machines running at any given time. When I am at work I would really like to be able to reboot the host system and have all of my VM's start back up. From what I can tell this cannot be done with out an account being logged in. Can I have the system autlogin a "VMWARE" account, start all of my virtual machines and then switch back to the login screen while remaining logged in? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
          Guru

          Can I have the system autlogin a "VMWARE" account, start all of my virtual machines and then switch back to the login screen while remaining logged in?

           

          To autologin as a user:

          "Preferences > Accounts > Login Options > Automatically log in as" and choose whichever account you want

           

          To start all your virtual machines on login:

          "Preferences > Accounts > (autologin account here) > Login Items" and add the vmx files. You'll want to make sure they can start up without prompting for input.

           

          Switching back to the login screen while remaining logged in:

          There's probably some way to do this but I don't know it off the top of my head. I say this because you can certainly Fast User Switch back to the login screen, so there's probably some way to do this in Applescript or something. I'm not sure what'll happen to the running VMs (if they get suspended, run at lower priority, run like normal...).

          • 2. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
            dpuckett Novice

            Ok, the autologin and autostart looks easy enough, just need a way to Fast User back to the login screen. The VM's will run fine with another user logged in. My wife stays logged into the MAC all day but I can still remote all of the VM's running under my account with no problem. Thanks for the info.

            • 3. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
              rcardona2k Champion

              With Fast User Switching enabled, if you execute this script, it will take you to the fast-user login window:

               

              /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\ Extras/User.menu/Contents/Resources/CGSession -suspend[/code]

              Easiest way is to save it as a .tool file in your Login Startup items. I've tested this and it works.

               

              Side-note: Your wife doesn't mind you running eight VMs in the background?  Even if they were idling I would notice that!

              • 4. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
                dpuckett Novice

                Thanks rcardona2k, that worked perfectly. As far as noticing all of the VM's running I would bet you would not. I have been very impressed with Fusion. I am sure the 8G of RAM is making the difference but I have never had a second of hesitation doing anything. I am sold. I would like to see some more management type tools for multiple vm's like those that are available on Linux/Windows but I cannot complain. Thanks for the help gents (or ladies if that is the case)

                • 5. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
                  Guru

                  Easiest way is to save it as a .tool file in your Login Startup items.

                   

                  Out of curiosity, do you need to worry about order of operations (e.g. make sure all VMs launch before switching out), or does everything get run regardless?

                  • 6. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
                    Guru

                    I generally keep 8+ Virtual Machines running at any given time

                     

                    I forgot to ask this earlier, but out of curiosity, what are you doing with that many virtual machines at all times?

                    • 7. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
                      dpuckett Novice

                      It is generally just for testing. Fusion has allowed me to build out a complete working Windows Domain plus some other stuff. For instance I am currently running the following.

                       

                      Windows 2003 Domain Controller (512M)

                      Windows 2003 Application Server (512M)

                      Windows 2003 x64 Exchange 2007 Server (1G)

                      Windows XP Client (512M)

                      Windows Vista Client (512M)

                      xUbuntu (512M)

                      Clark Connect 4.0 Server (256M)

                      FreeBSD Network Monitoring - VMTN (256M)

                      FreeBSD general server (256M)

                      WiKID authentication server - VMTN (256M)

                       

                      I have become a VMTN addict. It makes it so easy to test some new stuff.

                      • 8. Re: Auto start virtual machines upon reboot
                        cj0 Novice

                         

                        When you would like to run a VMware fusion virtual machine on remote machine, managed with Apple

                        Remote Desktop (ARD).

                         

                         

                        Then you might nog want to use fast user

                        switching.

                         

                         

                        Several users reported being unable to control the machine

                        with ARD after a fast user switch occurs (VMware fusion doesn't even

                        need to be running).

                         

                        Source: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1003987&tstart=0

                         

                         

                        Since 10.5 an option could be to use spaces, and run VMware fusion in a separate space

                        or to run fusion headless, as explained in http://communities.vmware.com/message/593957