Installing the VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client

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If you have a home lab and don’t need vCenter, thee ESXi Embedded Host Client gives you web-based access to hidden features of your standalone ESXi host… without having to spin up a real vCenter server.

As most everyone knows, the old VMware vSphere C# client has been on its way out for years. One of the things keeping it alive is the fact that not everyone has a vCenter Server, and even those who do don’t necessarily use the Web Client. Sadly, there are some really cool features the old Windows client can’t touch, such as exposing hardware-assisted virtualization to individual VMs.

Here’s how to install it

  1. Shut down all VMs and place the host in maintenance mode

  2. SSH into ESXi and execute the following

[root@esxi:~] esxcli software vib install -v

  1. Browse to https://[ESXi]/ui

You should see the login screen:

VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client Login Screen

  1. Log in using whatever credentials you use in the old C# vSphere client. You should see something that looks an awful lot like the vSphere Web Client:

VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client Initial Screen