VMware Flings – Nested ESXi VMtools

When I was at Barcelona I first heard William Lam (http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/) talking about the soon release of a VMware fling that would be around VMware tools for nested ESXi hosts. The soon release was 11 November 2013.

I use lab setup often, to try out a few steps for education or to present features in a demo lab environment. That is, when those features don’t need much resources else I am currently bound to the availability of Hands on Labs.

Labs are pretty much setup with nested ESXi, whether just a data center lab, cloud setup of for mobility with Horizon. Testing and demoing comes with a lot of hosts actions, and we (it’s not just me) are lacking a simple way to control the host (or interact with the vSphere API as William is explaining in his http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2013/11/w00t-vmware-tools-for-nested-esxi.html blogpost). And with simple I mean not having to go to the console or SSH and for example shutting down the host from DCUI.
With the nested ESXi tools it’s just right click and shutdown guest for a clean shutdown.

Great! But to be clear, as this is a VMware fling there is no official support just use it in a lab set-up (non production warning).

But what do we need?

You will have to go to the flings page and download the VIB (or you can use the vmware.com source when you have a Internet connection on your hosts). You can find it at http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-tools-for-nested-esxi.

Put the VIB on a datastore that is accessible from your host.

Next open a console to enable SSH or enable the SSH service in your host’s security profile. Putty to that host.

Install the VIB with the following one liner: esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.0-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f

Where [DATASTORE] is replaced with the datastore you placed the tools.

It should return installation successful.

And you wil notice that a reboot is required. So either reboot or esxcli system shutdown reboot will do the trick when your in the SSH session.

In your web client you will now notice to VMware tools running in your hosts summary.

You can also use this for ESXi installations in VMware Workstation. The shutdown guest will nicely shutdown the guest os (just take a peek with ALT+F12 in the console or compare with a none ESXitools host that will be off in a second)

One thing, you cannot click the upgrade VMware Tools. You will have to monitor new releases and install them as a VIB.

– Thanks for this fling guys!

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Who Am I? Well please to meet you ...I'm Pascal van de Bor and I work as an EUC Consultant/Architect for all kinds of customers. I have been working in IT for ages, doing some networking, Linuxes/Unixes, storage and a little scripting in PowerShellCLI / Perl / PHP along the way. Virtualization became my main area of expertise when I came in contact with VMware and later on a little Citrix and Hyper-V. I work, and worked, at different companies that need EUC expertise on a project/contract basis. I do this at my employer ITQ at the moment. Going from assessing and designing, consultancy, implementation and on the job training for the EUC team. Main focus is the VMware product suite, but I’m not afraid of a little outside of the box. It’s all about synergy isn’t it…. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 I am awarded vExpert. Great to be part of the community. Outside this blogging space, I love some gaming on the Xbox One, riding my motorcycle around (for the people that only see a flash, I currently ride a Yamaha FZ6-N S2) or playing one of my guitars (Gibson SG, Ibanez electric for shredding and Ibanez steel-string) and listening to (and visiting) music. A little preference for the loud music, but can also enjoy other genres. If you want to get in touch, ask here, follow my twitter feed. Please do connect! - See you around

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