Installing the ESXi Host Client (Tech Preview)

Some time ago I came across a neat little “Fling” on the VMware labs site (a collection of tools built by VMware engineers) called the ESXi Host Client. When installed in your stand-alone ESXi host you will be able to manage the host through a web browser instead of having to use the traditional vSphere Client. Although the status of this piece of software is “Tech Preview”, so it is not officially supported by VMware for production environments, it is already very complete and easy to use. Recently the host client presented me a popup suggesting I look at the fling website to check whether a newer version was already available … and it was. So I went ahead, downloaded the software and installed it. In this case I first removed the old version by logging in to the ESXi console and using the command :

esxcli software vib remove -n esx-ui

The procedure to install the host client is pretty straightforward and is described below.
After downloading the software (with an extension of .vib) I copied it to the /tmp directory on the ESXi host using WinSCP. Then I logged back into the ESXi console and installed the host client using the command :

esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/esxui-3530804.vib

Now the host client is installed and you can connect to it using your favorite web browser (as it is written purely in HTML and JavaScript any  browser should work) using the url :


… and you should be presented with a login screen similar to the vSphere WebClient allowing you to login (probably using the root account).

I have created a little video of this procedure also briefly showing some of the interfaces allowing you to monitor and manage the host, virtual machines, datastores and virtual switches.

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