You can configure your virtual machine to have soft or hard power options.

The way the VMware Fusion power commands work depends on the way your virtual machine is configured. If the virtual machine was created in VMware Fusion, the power commands default to soft options. The commands take effect on the guest operating system. Virtual machines created in other VMware products might default to hard power options. These commands act on the virtual machine the way the power and reset buttons work on a physical computer's power supply.

Soft and Hard Options for Power Commands in the Virtual Machine Menu

Command

Result

Start Up (soft option)

Force Start Up (hard option)

These commands have the same effect: the virtual machine's operating system is started.

Resume (soft option)

Triggers a resume script to run. You can customize this script. For more information, see the document Installing and Configuring VMware Tools.

Force Resume (hard option)

Resumes the virtual machine from a suspended state.

Shut Down (soft option)

Sends a shut down signal to the guest operating system. An operating system that recognizes this signal shuts down gracefully. Not all guest operating systems respond to a shut down signal from this button. If your operating system does not respond, shut down from the operating system, as you would with a physical machine.

Force Shut Down (hard option)

Works the way a power switch works on a computer's power supply. The virtual machine is abruptly powered off, with no consideration for work in progress. This action can result in data loss. When possible, shut down the virtual machine's operating system before you power off the virtual machine.

Suspend (soft option)

Triggers a suspend script to run. You can customize this script. For more information, see the document Installing and Configuring VMware Tools.

Force Suspend (hard option)

The Force Suspend command suspends the virtual machine.

Restart (soft option)

Sends a restart signal to the guest operating system. An operating system that recognizes this signal shuts down gracefully and restarts. Not all guest operating systems respond to a restart signal from this button. If your operating system does not respond, restart from the operating system, as you would with a physical machine.

Force Restart (hard option)

Works as a reset switch. The virtual machine is abruptly reset, with no consideration for work in progress. When possible, shut down the virtual machine's operating system. Use the reset option only as a last resort when the virtual machine's operating system is unresponsive.