Is it possible for a Linux VM guest to request that the host make a snapshot of itself, using just the open-vm-tools suite. I see references that seem to indicate that it's possible, no examples. My test environment is ESXi 5.5 and CentOS 7.

1 Answer 1


It is not possible with open-vm-tools or vmware tools. https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Tools/12.1.0/vmware-tools-administration-guide.pdf

I believe the references to snapshots you are seeing are about the vmbackup plugin. It is not initiating the snapshot, it handles quiescing. https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools/tree/master/open-vm-tools/services/plugins/vmbackup

What you can do is freeze and clone the OS. Depending on your end goal this might work for you. vmware-rpctool "instantclone.freeze" vmtoolsd "instantclone.freeze" https://williamlam.com/2018/04/new-instant-clone-architecture-in-vsphere-6-7-part-1.html


Another option, but this doesn't use VMware tools, is to run something like a python script or java app from inside the guest. https://github.com/vmware/pyvmomi-community-samples/blob/master/samples/create_snapshot.py https://developer.vmware.com/samples/1078/vmsnapshot?h=snapshot#

You can also use PowerCLI but it requires PowerShell to be installed on your Linux vm. https://developer.vmware.com/docs/powercli/latest/products/vmwarevsphereandvsan/categories/snapshot/ https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/scripting/install/installing-powershell-on-linux?view=powershell-7.3

I believe most backup utilities have a separate manager vm that makes the snapshots. Having another small VM to manage your snapshot tasks might be an easier route.

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