You can start a virtual machine from the VM menu or from the toolbar. When you use the VM menu, you can select a soft or hard power option or start the virtual machine in BIOS setup mode.

When virtual machines are in a folder, you can perform batch power operations. See Using Folders to Manage Virtual Machines.

You can use the AutoStart feature to configure shared and remote virtual machines to start when the host system starts. See Configure Shared and Remote Virtual Machines to Start with the Host.

If the virtual machine is on the local host, select File > Open and browse to the virtual machine configuration (.vmx) file.

If the virtual machine is on a remote host, connect to the remote server. See Connect to a Remote Server.

To select a power option when you start the virtual machine, select the virtual machine and select VM > Power.

Option

Description

Power On

(Hard option) Workstation starts the virtual machine.

Start Up Guest

(Soft option) Workstation starts the virtual machine and VMware Tools runs a script in the guest operating system. On Windows guests, if the virtual machine is configured to use DHCP, the script renews the IP address of the virtual machine. On a Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris guest, the script starts networking for the virtual machine.

Power On to BIOS

Workstation starts the virtual machine in BIOS setup mode.

To start the virtual machine from the toolbar, select the virtual machine and click the start button.

The start power control setting that is configured for the virtual machine determines whether Workstation performs a hard or soft power on operation. The configured behavior appears in a tooltip when you mouse over the button.

Click anywhere inside the virtual machine console to give the virtual machine control of the mouse and keyboard on the host system.