Even if you haven’t heard about BusyBox, you may have used it. It runs in every ESXi, which doesn’t have a full OS as console like classic ESX. Still, you need an easy way to interact the hypervisor directly. So the ESXi includes a tiny console that uses BusyBox (reduced version) due to its small size.
The BusyBox has been ported to Windows as well. You can download the 600+K executable here. It’s really a simple exe file and you can place it anywhere. Read more... (217 words, estimated 52 secs reading time)
In a recent experiment, I needed to get the VMware Tools installer. Somehow after searching many different places, I couldn’t find it. While writing this article, I found a link to all the installers organized per ESX versions and CPU architectures. The installers are single files, different from an installable CD which I hacked. Read more... (463 words, 3 images, estimated 1:51 mins reading time)
Yesterday the VMware community noticed that the direct ESX download links were removed from vSphere download page. When I checked the download page, the ESX link is not with the bundles but at the end of the page in its own section.
To my own curiosity, I wonder what the adoption ratio of these two hypervisors is today. As an engineer, I don’t have sales data in front of me. Even I have, I am sure if I can share it here.
Instead, I tried Read more... (234 words, 1 image, estimated 56 secs reading time)
VMware ESX and ESXi (a.k.a. vSphere Hypervisor) support the most guest operating systems among all the hypervisors. From the vSphere API, you can determine what operating system is installed on a virtual machine.
The related managed object is the VirtualMachine and there are multiple ways to Read more... (841 words, estimated 3:22 mins reading time)
With a vSphere Client, you can easily check the memory information of a host, either ESX or ESXi. To get that, you click on a host from the inventory tree, and then configuration tab. From the left side Hardware section of the configuration page, you click Memory and see a pane displaying the memory info as follows:
Note that if you have chosen a ESXi host, you won’t see the Service Console part because there is no console OS any more in ESXi. BTW, VMware wants you to migrate from ESX to ESXi and here is a link with helps.
This seemingly easy information is actually not easy to get. At first glance, it should be in the config property of HostSystem (managed object representing an ESX or ESXi). The config property has a sub property called systemResources, typed as HostSystemResourceInfo. But you will get null for the systemResources property most, if not all, of the time, as reported in VI Java API forum.
Interestingly enough, HostSystem has a systemResources property in peer to the config property as well. Luckily, it’s not null so you can dig down for something. Still, with 3 sub properties of complex types included, how to get the memory from the data object?
Here are the steps to collect and calculate the numbers: Read more... (455 words, 1 image, estimated 1:49 mins reading time)
I think there is a pretty good understanding on this topic, but questions still come up once in a while in VI Java API community and my inbox. Some people got errors while trying to manage free ESXi servers via API. The API support of free ESXi is limited to ready only according to a VMware KB article:
vCLI, PowerCLI, and vSphere SDk for Perl are limited to read-only access for the free vSphere Hypervisor edition. To enable full functionality of vCLI on a VMware ESXi host, the host must be licensed with vSphere Essentials, vSphere Essential Plus, vSphere Standard, vSphere Advanced, vSphere Enterprise, or vSphere Enterprise Plus. Read more... (224 words, estimated 54 secs reading time)
Last week I answered a question in VMware Web Services SDK forum about asterisks in vSphere API reference. Underneath these asterisks comes a note saying “May not be present.” What does it really mean?
The asterisks normally show up after properties or sub-properties defined with a managed object. As it says, it’s possible that there is NO value to the property.
How can it be like this?
There are two major causes. First, it reflects the different implementations of ESX, ESXi and vCenter. As a quick example, you can find many of the properties in the “content” (type: ServiceContent) come with asterisks.
On a vCenter server, you will find values to almost all the properties, but not quite so for ESX/ESXi. But we have one API reference document, so it’s natural to mark whatever possible no value as “may not present.”
Secondly, it may be as such depending on the state of a managed object. For instance, a virtual machine can be a bare machine without an OS installed. Therefore, the “guest” property of the virtual machine could have no value at all.
What does it mean to you? Read more... (357 words, estimated 1:26 mins reading time)
As a feature, lockdown mode has been added to vSphere 4.0 . Enabling it disables all remote root access to an ESXi machine. Any local changes to the host must be using:
- DCUI (Direct Console User Interface).
- vSphere Client or vCLI connecting to vCenter.
- vSphere Client or vCLI connecting to ESXi with a local user account on the host.
My colleague Duncan Epping has summarized a table showing whether you can change ESXi with different access methods in two modes.
As a general practice for better security, it’s recommended to enable lockdown mode. However the lockdown mode could be breached by adding root user to local groups, Read more... (242 words, estimated 58 secs reading time)