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HOWTO: Backup up a live linux site running vmware virtual machines

If you have a live linux site that is running vmware virtual machines, you can pause the virtual machines when you want to perform a backup, I use acronis for linux which does incremental backups and you can specify a command to run before and after the backup, this allows backups to be performed at scheduled times daily without any intervention. In my examples below, the virtual machine i want to control is in /root/vmware/Recital/Recital.vmx

To pause the virtual machine on linux:

# vmrun pause /root/vmware/Recital/Recital.vmx

and then to unpause after the backup has completed:

# vmrun unpause /root/vmware/Recital/Recital.vmx

That is basicallty it, no need to attend the backup and it can be perfomed at a suitable time so no users are affected.

Incidentally, vmrun lets you startup a virtual machine at system startup too, without needing the GUI:

# vmrun start /root/vmware/Recital/Recital.vmx

Or alternatively stop it:

# vmrun stop /root/vmware/Recital/Recital.vmx

There are lots of other capabilities of this command, running applications inside the virtual machine etc etc. For full details just type vmrun in a terminal window.


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