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How to enable the VMware Fusion REST API

This post will show you how to enable the VMware Fusion REST API so that you can manage vmnets and virtual machines without using the UI.



VMware Fusion* has a great macOS UI that has a native look and feel, unlike some of the open source alternatives. However, it’s not the only way to manage the VMs, you can also use the vmrun command or enable the REST API.

Enabling the REST API allows you to write programs that automate tasks. It’s very simple to do and the following steps will show you how.

Step 1: Configure Credentials

Open the macOS Terminal and run the following command:

vmrest --config

Enter a username then a password.


Step 2: Launch API

Run the following command to start the VMware Fusion REST API


You can change the listen address and port number with the following options:

vmrest -i -p 8697

Step 3: Test API

Open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:8697/.

VMware Fusion REST API

As you can see from the screenshot above, a webpage should load that lists the available endpoints and examples of how to consume them.


Let’s Test an Endpoint

Run the following command to list all the virtual machines:

curl 'http://localhost:8697/api/vms' -u 'root:Pa$$w0rd'

VMware Fusion REST API VM List

You can also base64 encode the username and password and pass it in the Authorization header. Run the following command to encode the username and password:

echo 'root:Pa$$w0rd' | base64

Then modify the API call to pass the encoded username and password in the header:

curl 'http://localhost:8697/api/vms' -X GET \
  --header 'Authorization: Basic cm9vdDpQYSQkdzByZA=='


In this post we enabled the VMware Fusion* REST API. This opens up a number of automation capabilities that allow you to manage vmnets and virtual machines without using the UI. As an example, you could write an Ansible module that consumes the API.

Written by: Tony Mackay


* GraspingTech participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you, should you click on a link to a product and make a purchase.