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The Truth About Implementing Powerful VM Insights with vim-cmd in vSphere


In a VMware vSphere environment, managing virtual machines (VMs) is a fundamental task for administrators. VMware provides a powerful tool called ‘ vim-cmd ‘ to gain insights into the VMs running on an ESXi host. In this DIY guide, we will explore how to use vim-cmd commands to list essential information about the VMs on your ESXi host.


Before we start, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. Access to an ESXi host in your vSphere environment.
  2. Familiarity with basic command-line interface (CLI) concepts.
  3. Administrative access to your ESXi host.

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Understanding vim-cmd

vim-cmd is a command-line tool that provides a comprehensive set of commands for managing VMs, hosts, and other aspects of your VMware environment. It is particularly useful for listing VMs and retrieving information about them.

Benefits of vim-cmd

Fine-Grained Control: It allows you to access detailed information about VMs, their configuration, and their status.

Scripting and Automation: It can be used for scripting and automation, making it a valuable tool for managing multiple VMs efficiently.


Listing VM Information with `vim-cmd`

To use vim-cmd, you must access the ESXi host’s command-line interface. You can do this by enabling SSH access to the host or the ESXi Shell directly. Let us explore some of the scenario-based tasks and solutions.

Task-1 List all registered VMs on

the host.

vim-cmd vmssvc/ getallvms

Task-2 Get information about a specific VM by its VM ID.
vim-cmd vmsvc/get.config

Task-3 List the VM’s power state (on/off).

vim-cmd vmsvc/power.getstate

Task-3 To power on / power off VMs. You should have the VM ID of that VM first.

vim-cmd vmsvc/power.on  Output:

Task-4 Managing Snapshots of VMs using vim-cmd.

  1. Capture a snapshot: To create a snapshot for a VM using vim-cmd, you’ll need to specify the VM’s ID and provide a name for the snapshot. Use the following command:
    vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.create
  2. To view/list all snapshots of VM.Command:
    vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.get
  3. Reverting to a Snapshot.
    vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.revert

    Here, VM’s current state is snap03, and let’s revert to its snap02 state, whose Snapshot ID = 2.
  4. Deleting a specific snapshot.Identify the VM ID
    vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms
    Identify the Snapshot ID
    vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.get
    Remove a particular snapshot.Command:
    vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.remove

    Output:Let us s remove snap01, whose snapshot id =1.


vim-cmd is a versatile tool for administrators in a VMware vSphere environment. It empowers you to list and access essential information about VMs running on your ESXi host efficiently.

Whether managing a single VM or multiple VMs, vim-cmd provides fine-grained control and the capability to script and automate tasks, making it an essential part of your vSphere toolkit. Stay curious, explore the commands, and tailor your VM management to precisely meet your organization’s specific needs.

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1. Can I schedule regular snapshots for my VMs using vim-cmd?

ANS: – vim-cmd itself does not provide scheduling features. You can implement snapshot schedules using vSphere’s automation and scheduling features or third-party tools.

2. How can I check the available snapshots for a VM and their details before deciding which one to delete?

ANS: – You can use the vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.get command to list the available snapshots and their details for a specific VM before deciding to delete a snapshot.

3. Is there a way to recover a deleted snapshot using vim-cmd if I deleted it accidentally?

ANS: – No, the deletion of a snapshot is irreversible using vim-cmd. It’s crucial to double-check before deleting a snapshot to avoid accidental data loss.

4. Why vim-cmd is useful to admins of data centres?

ANS: – VMware provides a command-line tool for managing various aspects of virtualized environments, making it an essential utility for data center administrators.

WRITTEN BY Rahulkumar Shrimali



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