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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 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxui/esxui-signed-4393350.vib<br />

` 3. Browse to https://[ESXi]/ui

You should see the login screen:

<a href="http://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-24-11_38_58-Log-in-VMware-ESXi.png" rel="attachment wp-att-888"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-888" src="http://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-24-11_38_58-Log-in-VMware-ESXi.png" alt="VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client Login Screen" width="918" height="637" srcset="https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-24-11_38_58-Log-in-VMware-ESXi.png 918w, https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-24-11_38_58-Log-in-VMware-ESXi-300x208.png 300w, https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-24-11_38_58-Log-in-VMware-ESXi-768x533.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 918px) 100vw, 918px" /></a>
  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:
<a href="http://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/VMware-ESXi-Embedded-Host-Client-Initial-Screen.png" rel="attachment wp-att-889"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-889" src="http://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/VMware-ESXi-Embedded-Host-Client-Initial-Screen.png" alt="VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client Initial Screen" width="1005" height="503" srcset="https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/VMware-ESXi-Embedded-Host-Client-Initial-Screen.png 1005w, https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/VMware-ESXi-Embedded-Host-Client-Initial-Screen-300x150.png 300w, https://benpiper.com/uploads/2016/09/VMware-ESXi-Embedded-Host-Client-Initial-Screen-768x384.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1005px) 100vw, 1005px" /></a>