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ESXi 5 Remote Console from Linux

Alastair Grant | Monday 25 June 2012

In order to remotely control a guest hosted on ESXi (vSphere Hypervisor) you would normally use the vSphere Client.

This provides you with pretty much all the functionality you could ask for - apart from running on Linux.

VMware suggest you use the web-admin utility to control servers from Linux - but you have to pay for and run vCenter to get this functionality.

Luckily, there is a cheeky workaround. VMware Player. Player is a free desktop hypervisor, but it has a hidden feature - being able to connect to remote virtual machines using the "-h" switch:

/usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmplayer -h myesxihost.local

Just tap in your logon details and pick a server. BE WARNED: it is a little flaky so don't rely on functionality to be exactly the same as in vSphere client.

If you want to run Player 4 from a VM you'll need vmware tools 8.7 - ESXi 5 update 1 helpfully ships with 8.6. Workstation (and I guess Player as well) ships with 8.8. You can grab the linux.iso/upgrader from a copy of this and run it in your guest manually.

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