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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