Suspend a VMware Workstation host from command line

This post gives a short description of how to suspend a VMware Workstation 6.5.x guest/VM on a Ubuntu 9.04 Workstation but it shouldn’t be any problem to follow it on other linux distributions. Lately I’ve experienced that one of my VMware Workstation host lock up and my mouse cursor stops responding. The keyboard doesn’t let me switch applications (Alt+Tab) because the Tab-key doesn’t respond. The solution to my problem was to suspend the virtual machine from the console.

  1. First you have to switch to a console by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 – This lets you login to a console.
  2. Suspend the virtual machine by issuing the following command from the console
    # vmrun suspend /path/to/the/vmx-file/vmxfile.vmx

Switch back to your graphical desktop by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7. You will now see that the suspend indicator is hard at work suspending the virtual machine that is causing problems. When the host has been suspended you can shutdown VMware Workstation as you normally do.

To make sure that VMware haven’t got any processes that are defunct stop and start the VMware daemon.

Remember to shut down or suspend all virtual machines before issuing the following commands from the console to avoid losing data

Stopping the VMware daemon

# /etc/init.d/vmware stop

Stopping VMware services:
   Virtual machine communication interface                             done
   Virtual machine monitor                                             done
   Blocking file system                                                done

Starting the VMware daemon

# /etc/init.d/vmware start

Starting VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                             done
   Virtual machine communication interface                             done
   Blocking file system                                                done
   Virtual ethernet                                                    done
   Shared Memory Available                                             done

Start VMware as you normally do and resume the host. The host should now work without any problems.

The vmrun command gives you other options as well like list, start, stop, reset and upgradevm, but I won’t describe the use of these in this post.