ESXi Embedded Host Client

The ESXi embedded host client is a web application served direct from an ESXi server that allows basic management of virtual infrastructure. It is somewhat similar in appearance to Vsphere, though the feature set at the moment is less rich. Vmware has released it as a “fling“, which can be easily added to an existing ESXi server as follows. NB it is recommended to try this in a lab environment rather than a production machine.

Download the vib file from the link above and install. The ESXi server in this example (ESXi 6.0.0 build 3029758) has Internet access, so wget was used to grab the software directly:

/tmp # wget http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxui/esxui-signed-3843236.vib
Connecting to download3.vmware.com (104.82.149.241:80)
esxui-signed-3843236 100% |***********************************************************************************************************|  3155k  0:00:00 ETA

Now install the vib:

/tmp # esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/esxui-signed-3843236.vib 
Installation Result
   Message: Operation finished successfully.
   Reboot Required: false
   VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.3.0-3843236
   VIBs Removed: 
   VIBs Skipped: 

In a browser (Firefox recommended), surf to a URL composed of your ESXi server’s IP address with “/ui” added, eg http://123.123.123.123/ui.

Login and you get a surprisingly slick and fast interface. Basic operations are supported. Creation of virtual machines, storage management, network management. Network management is aided with the sort of rudimentary diagrams familiar to Vsphere users. Storage management is a little buggy. I couldn’t extend existing storage volumes without the client crashing. However adding new disks to a datastore works fine. Overall it is a very impressive piece of software and a pleasure to use.

Note this is designed for management of a single ESXi instance. For managing Vcenter, is the HTML5 web client you’ll be wanting.

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