How to run Vmware Player virtual machine in background on Windows

15 10 2014

Vmware Player is as simple as a pie, whether it’s good or bad.
What is definitely bad about it is it’s lack of management tools, but it’s how it was supposed to be, otherwise you wouldn’t pay for more advanced versions, right?
To ensure your virtual machine of choice is started together with Windows but not hanging in front of your eyes act as follows:

  1. Add pref.vmplayer.exit.vmAction = “disconnect” to the C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\VMware\preferences.ini – this step is not a must but will keep your VM alive if you decide to kill vmplayer.exe process later on.
  2. Schedule a task for it with trigger – “at startup” (Tick “Run with highest privileges” if you’re using raw device as I do). Action will be “Start a program”, Program/script – “C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmplayer.exe” and “Add arguments (optional)” field must contain full path to your VM .vmx file (do not forget quotes if path contains spaces)

That’s it.
PS. Of course it all has sense if VM is reachable over IP in some manner.

Manually applying hotfixes and updates to Citrix XenServer

30 07 2013

Now, when 6.2 is available, those of us not having support subscription will have to install updates manually, it’s not that difficult, you just need to always start from pool master and never put it in maintenance mode prior to update.

  1. Get update from Citrix site and upload it to pool master using scp
  2. Connect to pool master via ssh or XenCenter console and upload update to pool database using following command:xe patch-upload filename=filename.xsupdate – it will show uuid of newly uploaded xotfix
  3. Apply update using following command: xe patch-apply uuid=<UUID of the hotfix> host-uuid=<UUID of the pool master> (you can copy pool master uuid from XenCenter or from output of xe host-list)
  4. Reboot pool master and continue with remaining servers in pool.

XenServer APC Smart-UPS shutdown and monitoring

15 04 2011

My Citrix XenServer pool is powered through network enabled APC Smart-UPS (6000 RT)

There are at least two ways of monitoring UPS state in order to shutdown pool members and VMs running in the pool when juice is over:

apcupsd (installation used to be somewhat tricky before XenServer 5.6 and included some unsupported movements)

– getting values from UPS via SNMP and acting accordingly to them – the way which I went, and you’re welcome to see detailed route description.

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XenCenter disconnects shortly after pool connect – solved

28 08 2009

This morning XenCenter started to disconnect from pool almost immediately after it was started. Short backtrack revealed that only recent time adjustment on pool members could cause that. To fix this bad behavior of XenCenter I had to issue xe-toolstack-restart command via ssh on pool master.