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Ultimate Guide to Master ESXCLI and Host Configurations in vSphere

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VMware vSphere provides powerful command-line tools for managing ESXi hosts, and ESXCLI is one of the most versatile options at your disposal. In this blog, we’ll explore how to use ESXCLI commands to view various ESXi server configurations and provide scenario-based tasks with solutions, helping you harness the full potential of your virtual infrastructure.


Before we delve into ESXCLI, ensure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. Access to a VMware vSphere environment with ESXi hosts.
  2. A basic understanding of command-line interfaces (CLI) and vSphere concepts.
  3. Administrative or Root Access to your ESXi hosts.

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Understanding ESXCLI

ESXCLI is a command-line tool used to manage and configure ESXi hosts. It offers a wide range of commands to interact with various aspects of the host, including networking, storage, hardware, and more.


Fine-Grained Control: ESXCLI provides precise control over host configurations, allowing you to make granular changes.

Scripting and Automation:  It is scriptable, making it a valuable tool for automation and orchestration.

Comprehensive Monitoring: ESXCLI commands can be used for extensive host configuration monitoring.

How to View Host Configuration

Task-1 Accessing ESXCLI

To use ESXCLI, open an SSH session to your ESXi host or log in to the ESXi Shell using an SSH client. You can use MTPUTTY or Putty tool for the same.

Task-2 View host version information like product name, build, version, update, etc.


esxcli system version get


Task-3 List all installed VIBs (vSphere Installation Bundles) in the ESXi server.

esxcli software vib list


Task-4 To view the ESXi host’s hardware information.

esxcli hardware platform get

Task-5 To view a list of network adapters on your ESXi host.

esxcli network nic list

Task-6 To view the storage devices connected to your ESXi host.

esxcli storage core device list

Task-7 Maintenance Mode Operation/ Tasks.

To check whether Maintenance Mode is enabled or Disable not. And how to enable or disable it.

esxcli system maintenanceMode get
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e false //To disable
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true //To enable


Task-8: To display the ESXi server’s hostname, Domain name, and FQDN.

esxcli system hostname get

Task-9 To display the system clock of ESXi.

esxcli hardware clock get

Task-10 To display CPU details of ESXi.

esxcli hardware cpu list | less


Task-11 To view memory details of ESXi.

esxcli hardware memory get

Task-12 To list PCI devices associated with ESXI host with their information.


esxcli hardware pci list | less


Task-13 To review the firewall rules on your ESXi host.

esxcli hardware cpu global get

Task-14: To review the firewall rules on your ESXi host.

esxcli network firewall ruleset list



ESXCLI is a versatile tool that empowers administrators to efficiently view and manage ESXi host configurations. By understanding its basics using the provided scenario-based tasks and solutions, you can gain better control and visibility into your vSphere environment. Whether you’re a seasoned administrator or a newcomer to ESXCLI, this DIY guide is valuable for optimizing your virtual infrastructure. Stay curious, explore the commands, and precisely tailor your ESXi hosts to meet your organization’s needs.

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1. Can ESXCLI help with troubleshooting and performance optimization on ESXi hosts?

ANS: – ESXCLI is a valuable tool for troubleshooting and performance optimization. It allows you to gather information, diagnose issues, and fine-tune configurations to enhance host performance.

2. Are there any best practices for using ESXCLI effectively in a vSphere environment?

ANS: – Best practices include documenting commands and results, scripting repetitive tasks, and ensuring you have proper permissions and backups before making changes. It’s also essential to test commands in a non-production environment whenever possible.  

3. How can I access ESXCLI for managing ESXi hosts?

ANS: – ESXCLI can be accessed through SSH or the ESXi Shell. You can enable SSH on the ESXi host and use an SSH client to connect or directly log in to the ESXi Shell.

4. What types of configurations can be viewed and managed using ESXCLI commands?

ANS: – ESXCLI commands allow you to view and manage various configurations, including networking, storage devices, hardware information, firewall rules, CPU and memory usage, and much more.

5. Can I use ESXCLI for automation and scripting in my vSphere environment?

ANS: – ESXCLI is scriptable, making it a valuable tool for automation and orchestration tasks. You can use it to create scripts that perform various actions on ESXi hosts.

WRITTEN BY Rahulkumar Shrimali



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