VMware ESX: Guide To Common Commands

Manage your VMware virtual environment as efficiently as possible using our comprehensive list of ESX and ESXi scripting commands.

10 Slides

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Consistency in operations is the key for effective execution and control across a virtualized IT infrastructure. VMware users have access to a number of vSphere clients that use a graphical user interface (GUI). However, most administrators still prefer the command-line interface (CLI), which provides faster access and better automation capabilities. For any IT administrator, familiarity with the many VMware ESX and ESXi commands will mean better automation, fine tuning, and troubleshooting capabilities.

VMware Scripting

To automate the management of daily operations across VMware vSphere hosts, VMware provides handy scripting tools:

VMware vSphere PowerCLI helps automate-vSphere related tasks for managing hosts, storage, VMs, guest OS, and more. It is distributed as an add-on snap-in for Windows PowerShell and offers 150+ PowerShell cmdlets. This tool can be used by itself or within many different third-party tools.

VMware vSphere Command Line Interface (vCLI) is a set of command-line utilities that help users administer and manage virtual environments, including provisioning, configuration, and maintenance of vSphere hosts. vCLI can be used to access and operate vSphere hosts from any remote machine. It also integrates with the vCenter platform, allowing users to target and operate the vSphere hosts managed by the VMware vCenter Server system. vCLI commands can be used to automate the configuration, troubleshooting, and diagnostics of a vSphere host.

PowerCLI and vCLI were both developed using the same interface as the vSphere client and can be pointed to any vSphere host, either directly or through vCenter. When targeted directly towards a vSphere host, they use a local authentication mechanism and work in a manner similar to commands running from a traditional console operating system.

When targeted though vCenter, the vCLI and PowerCLI commands follow the same authentication (e.g., Active Directory), roles, and privileges, and even log in as vSphere client interactions, which offers a much more secure and auditable management framework.

In the following pages, we'll explain the most commonly used commands for VMware ESX in the areas of file management, host management, virtual machines, user management, virtual network management, storage, and performance.

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