AlfieBooth
Contributor
Contributor

Workstation backup - vmrun - What constitutes "powered off" and how can i check

Hi all, had a good old google but couldn't find info on this:

In the vmware article: Best practices when backing up a VmWare workstation virtual machine

It mentions that before the copy operation, the vm needs to be in a 'powered off' state.

Does this mean the vm needs to be shutdown completely, or is pause/suspend sufficient?

If it needs total shutdown, how can i check with the command line if there are machines paused/suspended?

when executing 'vmrun list', we get a list of running machines but this does not include suspended/paused machines.

Any help would be massively appreciated.

 

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

Making backups when powered down (shut down) makes the most reliable backups.

When the VM is suspended you can also make a backup, but you might have problems on restore if the virtual hardware is different at the time of restore. This has happened before when for example VMware added extra protections for CPU mitigations on spectre/meltdown. After you updated workstation with this mitigations, the CPU suddenly was slightly different and a suspended VM would not resume after restore. In that scenario you can still get your VM back to boot by discarding the VM state. But then you have a crash consistent backup.

You cannot make a backup while the VM is running, unless you use a product that is capable of doing so. At the moment I only know one such product and I'm the author (see my footer).

Hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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AlfieBooth
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, thanks for your response, I really appreciate it.. I will check out the link you provided.

For clarification, I don't really mind if the machines need to be powered off for the backup. I'm more interested in finding out if there is a command line method for checking which machines are powered off vs. suspended.

 

 

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

No you can't see that with vmrun alone.

In order to find out if a VM is suspended or shut down you will have to check the .vmx file for a checkpoint file.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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AlfieBooth
Contributor
Contributor

Excellent, thanks for that.

Also, I looked at your backup app.. looks amazing, however I am on a linux host. Any plans to support that in the future?

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

I would love to support Linux hosts, but right now it means I have to rewrite a very substantial part of it.

So certainly not impossible, but the cost/benefit for the moment isn't exactly there.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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AlfieBooth
Contributor
Contributor

Understandable,

thanks for your help. 

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