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Vimalin - automated Virtual Machine backups for VMware Fusion, Workstation and Player

Vimarun - run VMware Virtual Machines automatically

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#1 2021-01-21 16:08:31

Sontec
Member
Registered: 2020-03-03
Posts: 9

What is Vimarun ?

Hi Wila,
Today I say you have a new software called Vimarun.
Could you please give an explanation what it does and why it should be used instead of shared VM within Vmware's Workstation?
What are the benefits of using it?

In the past, I have used several contraptions with Taskscheduler and scripts to start and stop my Vmwares using vmrun.exe.
I even started an Autoit project to add a GUI, but never finished.

However because the session # of the account not matching the (same) user on the computer, I was never able to interact with the VM using Vm Workstation.(blank/black screen)
So I always had to use a remote viewer (Teamviewer, VNC, RDP) to get into my VM.


P.s. Wanted to post some links I used with my program, but I am not allowed to post links :-(

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#2 2021-01-21 16:39:06

wila
Administrator
Registered: 2016-10-14
Posts: 111

Re: What is Vimarun ?

Hi Martijn,

VMware's shared virtual machine feature is going to be removed from VMware Workstation.
The configuration to use Shared VM's was already removed in Workstation 16.0, but it has returned -in a limited way- in Workstation 16.1.
You can still use Shared VM's in Workstation 16.1, but you cannot create new VM's.
From what I've been told it will however not make it past Workstation 16.x

On Linux it is even already gone.

In its first incarnation vimarun mainly is a utility to easily start (and stop) virtual machines with your host.
Functionality is going to improve over time.
Some links:
https://vimarun.com/documentation/what-is-vimarun/
https://vimarun.com/documentation/how-does-it-work/

As you found out already, by using task manager to start your VM, it will never be able to have a user interface.
It is technically not possible due to the employed security model in Windows since MS Vista. The reason it works for VMware shared virtual machines, is because they are in control of the full user interface API and they serve up the UI over an internal API. Not something we can use (or depend on it to be still available in the near future).
Vimarun has a workaround for that where it will suspend/resume the VM for you automatically when you login so that the VM comes up with its user interface, instead of the black screen.
Another thing with scripts is that properly monitoring for a shut down is tricky. This can be done much more reliably by using a Windows service.

Of course as with many things, you can script your own solution. There's nothing wrong with that if you don't mind to spent the time to set it up and maintain.
People who do not want (or can) spent the time on scripting a solution will be able to use vimarun where there is another party who is responsible about making sure it keeps working.

re. forum not accepting links. Not sure what is happening there.
According to the forum settings you should be able to do so, but I might be overlooking something.

--
Wil

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#3 2021-01-22 01:27:29

Sontec
Member
Registered: 2020-03-03
Posts: 9

Re: What is Vimarun ?

Yes, I heard about VmWare removing the shared Vm feature, but I wasn't aware it would be with version 16.x. I am still using 15.4.x versions.
BTW, I really cannot comprehend why VmWare wants do remove the Vm shared function.
They should extend it more instead of removing it!


I hope I could make some time to test Vimarun soon and give some feed back.

Here are some links I saved in the past for my own program.
https://joomlab3.exonsoft.com/en/articl … l-machines
https://www.coretechnologies.com/produc … oSession0/
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/the-e … a-service/

My mock-up: https://i.imgur.com/SOQ3dB6.png

Last edited by Sontec (2021-01-22 01:29:53)

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#4 2021-01-22 02:27:29

Sontec
Member
Registered: 2020-03-03
Posts: 9

Re: What is Vimarun ?

To other users, I did not realise that Wila has a special website for Vimarun: https://vimarun.com/

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#5 2021-01-22 11:24:35

wila
Administrator
Registered: 2016-10-14
Posts: 111

Re: What is Vimarun ?

Martijn,

Nice.

Yes, those websites do touch on some of the issues that I encountered when building vimarun.
Note that in the latest incarnation of shared VM's vmware actually does try to shut down the VM's as well on host reboot.
Great to see your screen mock-up.

VMware is removing the feature, because it is taking them a lot of resources to maintain.
Besides that it also -kind of- competes with functionality offered via vSphere.
Note that VMware's shared VM feature offers more than starting/stopping automatically.
There's a whole user/group permission system for determining what a remote user can do.
You can connect to a VM remotely, use remote power operations, even connect a remote USB device.

By removing the feature they remove the technical debt that comes along with it, I understand it from their point of view.
From the user POV however it is not as easy to understand and as it is a useful feature I figured to step in and see what I can offer within a reasonable amount of time.

--
Wil

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