Easily edit .VMX file with Veeam Backup Free Edition

Sometimes the easy things in life come along and make your day so much better. Recently I found a very easy way to edit .VMX files with Veeam Backup Free Edition. This technique was used before with FastSCP (now replaced by Veeam Backup Free Edition) with the FastSCP Editor. This editor is still available in Veeam Backup Free Edition (as well as the paid versions, of course) and makes editing .VMX files very easy!

While there are a number of reasons why you may want to edit the .VMX file, and because of such there are a few guidelines. First, don’t do this on a powered-on virtual machine, because it may cause unexpected behavior. Granular options like setting a fixed log file size for the virtual machine, nested Hyper-V on vSphere, keyboard type delay, and more may be needed to provide granular configuration options for a virtual machine.

As it turns out, we need to get into .VMX files from time to time. In fact, sometimes we also just want to read them. Whether we are going in to edit or read the .VMX file, the FastSCP Editor really makes both options quite easy to do because Veeam Backup Free Edition inventories the entire vSphere environment, including the datastores. This provides visibility into the datastores, for basic file copy operations which we have historically used with FastSCP.

1. First, right-click to launch the FastSCP Editor on a .VMX file (or any text file on an NFS or VMFS datastore) as shown below:

image

2. Once the Edit option is selected, the FastSCP Editor will open the editor directly from the datastore. This means that there is no need to copy it down, open it within Notepad or your favorite editor and then copy it back.

3. Begin editing!

Should you have a favorite editor, (and that’s fine, if you do!) you can do keyboard shortcuts for select all (CTRL+A), copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) to move the .VMX files back and forth to your preferred text editor or from a website with a value you need.

The FastSCP Editor is shown below:

image

FastSCP Editor makes editing .VMX files on NFS or VMFS datastores very easy! The best part is that this is included with Veeam Backup Free Edition. While this isn’t new (in fact it is quite old in Veeam-speak); it still is very useful , and it can let you get into datastores without having to put files on your local filesystem and then put them back directly. Let the free tool do it for you!

Do you use the FastSCP Editor for tasks other than .VMX files? If so, how? Share your tips below.

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8 Comments

  • Near Time Replication says:

    Ok, this is unrelated to the blog article, but I am wondering how W2012 and ESX5.1 will affect Veeam.

    One of the most compelling parts of the Veeam functionality is the Near-Real-Time-Replication of Hyper-V and ESX virtual machines.

    ESX5.1 has this built in. W2012 Hyper-V also has this built in (Hyper-V replica)

    Where does that leave Veeam?

  • Rick.Vanover says:

    Hi Smith. There are a number of situational differences. The first is that there will always be a need for high-featured backup, and remember Veeam Backup & Replication is both a backup and replication engine.

    Specifically regarding replication, the ability to recover from multiple replica restore points, file restore from replicas, and smart failback (changed transfer + source merge), etc.

  • Veeamuser says:

    Hi!

    I just tried this with 6.5..(paid version :-))

    and while trying to edit the vmx-file for a powered-off vm called dc01 I got:
    “Could not find file ‘C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Temp\VeeamTextEditor\DC01.vmx’.”

    This is on a a windows server 2008R2(the veeam backup server in our lab)

  • Rick Vanover says:

    Interesting – that should work….. Not sure what is going on here. Are all VMs behaving the same?

  • nvizor says:

    Cool tip. Was looking for this feature desperately. Thanks!

  • Hendro says:

    How to move vm-ware from one server to another server?

  • mlevkina says:

    Hi Hendro, sorry for the delayed reply! Do you mean how to move a VMware VM from one VMware ESXi host to another? If so, please use Veeam Quick Migration. Select a VM you want to move, right click and choose Quick Migration…

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