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0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
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ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI
Posted on July 19, 2011 (http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html) by Kyle Gleed
(http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/author/kyle_gleed)
ESXi 5.0 comes with a new ESXCLI command making it easy to administer your ESXi hosts from
the command line. Although the ESXCLI command in 5.0 has a similar look and feel as its 4.x
predecessor, the new command comes with an improved syntax and support for many additional
namespaces. In addition, and even more signicant, is that for the rst time the new ESXCLI
provides a single command set that can be used for both local and remote command line
administration.
In 5.0 the ESXCLI command is a replacement for the deprecated esxcfg-* commands used in
earlier release. Its important to note that even though the esxcfg-* commands are still included
with ESXi 5.0 these commands are deprecated, meaning they are no longer ocially supported.
They have been left behind to help as you transition over to ESXCLI. The esxcfg-* commands will
eventually be removed in future releases.
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9/29/2014 ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html 2/6
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In vSphere 5.0 the ESXCLI command set is not yet a comprehensive CLI tool. It will take time to
add all the required functionality into the ESXCLI command set. Until that happens users will
continue to augmented the new ESXCLI with the well known vicfg-*, vmware-cmd, vmkfstools, and
other CLI commands. Over time the ESXCLI command set will continually be expanded and the
non-ESXCLI commands eventually phased out and deprecated.
Why a new CLI?
A challenge longed faced by vSphere administrators has been the need to use an array of dierent
commands to administer their hosts. In addition, a completely dierent set of commands was
needed when working locally on a host versus remotely through the vCLI. The new ESXCLI
command targets these challenges by establishing a single CLI command set that can be used for
both local and remote host administration. In addition to providing a single tool, the new ESXCLI
command also establishes a standard that will continue to be extended and enhanced. This
standard is documented making it easy for vendors to integrate and provide customized plug-ins
enabling users to also use the ESXCLI command to manage 3 party add-on components.
ESXCLI Command Overview
Learning to use the ESXCLI command is very easy. The best way to start is by logging on to the
ESXi shell and from the command prompt type esxcli:
rd
9/29/2014 ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html 3/6
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Typing the command with no options comes back with the usage screen shown above. This
method of getting command help will be familiar to people who have used ESXCLI in the 4.x
release. From this output we see the section labeled Available Namespaces:. Each namespace
represents a category of commands, for example there is a namespace for network and for
storage.
Lets look at the network namespace to see what additional namespaces and commands are
available by running the command esxcli network:
(/tp/.a/6a00d8341c328153ef014e89f6fd43970d-pi)
Here we see additional namespaces for fence, rewall, IP, vSwitch, and NIC. To see the options
are under vswitch you simply type esxcli network vswitch (catch the pattern?).
(/tp/.a/6a00d8341c328153ef01539003943a970b-pi)
Here we see two namespaces under vSwitch, one for working with a distributed vSwitch and
another for a standard vSwitch. Lets see what the command is to display the list of congured
standard vSwitches by running esxcli network vswitch standard:
9/29/2014 ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html 4/6
(/tp/.a/6a00d8341c328153ef015433d6e8f0970c-pi)
Here we again see the additional namespaces, but in addition for the rst time we see available
commands. From here we can see that in order to list the congured standard vSwitches on the
host we run the command esxcli network vswitch standard list:
(/tp/.a/6a00d8341c328153ef014e89f62c970d-pi)
I think you will agree that it wouldnt require much additional eort to further explore the ESXCLI
command to identify how to add a third vSwitch or modify any of the vSwitch settings. And
remember, part of what makes ESXCLI really cool is that can be used remotely as well as locally.
Conclusion
ESXi 5.0 comes with a new and improved ESXCLI command set. Dierent from its 4.x
predecessor the new ESXCLI command supports many additional namespaces and for the rst
time provides a common CLI tool that can be used for both local and remote administration.
The new ESXCLI command doesnt yet provide a comprehensive set of capabilities. The focus for
the 5.0 release is to provide a replacement for the now deprecated esxcfg-* commands. As such in
vSphere 5.0 the ESXCLI will continue to be augmented with the vicfg-, vmware-cmd and other
available CLI tools. Over time, the ESXCLI command set will be expanded and the other CLI tools
deprecated.
9/29/2014 ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html 5/6
Learning to use the new ESXCLI command is a breeze with an intuitive and easy to learn syntax.
Simply type the esxcli command and press enter to get started, then simply navigate through the
nested namespaces until you reach the command you need.
Next up well go over some examples of using ESXCLI remotely
This entry was posted in ESXi (http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/esxi) on July 19, 2011 [http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/07/esxi-50-command-
line-part-1-introduction-to-the-new-esxcli.html] by Kyle Gleed (http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/author/kyle_gleed) .
About Kyle Gleed
Kyle Gleed is a Sr. Technical Marketing Architect at VMware focused on the vCloud Suite, with an
emphasis on deployment and upgrades. Follow Kyle on twitter @Kyle_Gleed.
View all posts by Kyle Gleed (http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/author/kyle_gleed)
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9/29/2014 ESXi 5.0 Command Line Part 1 Introduction to the new ESXCLI | VMware vSphere Blog - VMware Blogs
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