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I have searched every corner of the internet (well, I searched really hard...) for a proper vSphere client for Linux, but it seems that the answer is the same everytime: VMWare tells users to use Windows.

  • Is there any information on a vSphere client for Linux?
  • Are there alternative third-party clients that support Linux?

Any help is appreciated.

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9 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Is there any information on a vSphere client for Linux?

Vmware has no plans to make a linux client at this time.

Are there alternative third-party clients that support Linux?

libvirt has simplistic support: http://libvirt.org/drvesx.html This, coupled with vCenter Server on Linux ( http://communities.vmware.com/community/beta/vcserver_linux ) would allow completely Windows-less management.

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vcenter server on linux is simplistic at best. Perhaps at some point it will be on par but certainly not today. –  Jim B Apr 20 '11 at 20:14
    
pretty awkward knowing that the ESX OS familly are based on linux and VMware still don't have decided to make a Vsphere client for linux... Well the the solution of embobo is good, let's hope VMware will finally start developping an Vsphere client for linux as well –  Anarko_Bizounours Jun 16 '11 at 7:01
    
ESX isn't based on Linux (nor is it an OS but rather a HyperVisor). The 'Service Console' you see in ESX is actually a small Linux VM running on top of the HyperVisor. –  Chris Thorpe Jul 5 '11 at 22:15
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There will be a web-based client in vSphere 5, which should satisfy Linux desktop users. And since vCenter Server will be available as a SUSE Linux-based vApp, it will finally become possible to build Windows-less vSphere environments.

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A bit of a demo here - youtube.com/watch?v=UuMUeBiHNCw. It is Flash-based though, unlike the old Web Access, which was mainly HTML + a browser plugin for the console. –  Sam Aug 19 '11 at 1:03
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If you use Ubuntu then you can try the following alternative ... http://vmetc.com/2009/10/23/using-vsphere-client-on-ubuntu-linux-with-single-application-rdp/ Also there is a development going on for Ruby vSphere Console which you can check at http://communities.vmware.com/thread/307855 ...

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Sadly, RDP is no option for me as I am only in control of the virtual server and not the host. –  Aron Rotteveel Apr 22 '11 at 9:21
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There is currently not an official vSphere client for Linux. You probably won't get the answer that you want with this question either, as anything on VMware's roadmap is typically non-disclosure. I'd talk to your VMware rep to see if they can share any future plans with you.

Additionally, vMA and vCLI are great linux alternatives for the vSphere client. They are, however, not a GUI.

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vSphere Web Access is not an option?

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2  
From the "About" page in that link: "vSphere 4.1 will be the last product release for vSphere Web Access. As a best practice, VMware recommends that you use the vSphere Client, which contains all the functionality of Web Access." Well done, VMWare. –  Mark Wagner Apr 20 '11 at 18:35
    
vSphere Web Access works, but the console is broken in Chrome and Firefox, which still leaves me crippled :( –  Aron Rotteveel Apr 20 '11 at 19:33
    
What version of vCenter Server are you running and what do you mean by "console is broken"? This error: Cannot access virtual machine console. The request timed out. with version 4 is fixed in version 4 update 1, see this link (vmware.com/support/vsphere4/doc/…). Hope this helps. –  duenni Apr 20 '11 at 19:52
    
Chrome is not supported but firefox and IE are –  Jim B Apr 20 '11 at 20:18
    
/ Jim: downloading the firefox addon results in a FireFox error telling me there is a connection problem with the server (at 100%). –  Aron Rotteveel Apr 21 '11 at 5:55
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Well I'm working on a solution to manage ESX(i) natively on Linux with a GUI...

This has started as a little learning simple GUI coding project but it becomes more and more usable ;o)

You can take a look on the current features here:

http://vEMan.nethna.de

I'm currently re-designing some of the GUI parts but I think I can release a public version the next week.

According to:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=2005377

Starting from ESX(i) v5 there will be the web access feature also available for ESXi - so you may don't need a client anymore...

But when you're using v4.X you will have no other GUI tool than mine (as far as I know) ;o)

I'm happy for comments ;o)

Regards

Thomas

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There is no vSphere client for Linux, but you can use the VMWare Player as a console client for your guest VMs. You need to use a hidden commandline flag:

$ vmplayer -h [<hostname>]

where <hostname> is the optional name of your VMWare host server. If you leave the hostname off, the dialog you are presented with will let you fill it in, along with your username and password. Note: all this gets you is a console for your VM, not restart and other control or monitoring the vSphere client gives you.

I think this is a major shortcoming of VMWare to not provide tools that work on all platforms.

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The vSphere client is a .Net application, so it will never run on Linux. There has been a long-running (5+ years) thread about their forums and nobody from VMware has ever responded. The company obviously doesn't give a rat's butt about it's Linux customers.

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Wait just another 6 days ;) –  Chopper3 Jul 6 '11 at 7:05
    
OK, 6 days have passed... :) –  Prof. Moriarty Jul 13 '11 at 13:07
    
Oddly though, the Windows vSphere Client is actually written in Microsoft's .NET variant of Java (now discontinued). So the intention of cross-platform compatibility was probably there, but someone higher up probably decided otherwise. Given the various APIs available for ESX, I'm surprised someone hasn't taken up the challenge yet. –  Sam Aug 19 '11 at 0:19
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@Prof. - vSphere 5 supports a new Adobe Air based client, as Air is available for Linux it runs just fine. –  Chopper3 Aug 22 '11 at 22:45
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You also can use vmware workstation for linux - it connects to VC and lets you do a lot of things with VMs(connecting to console, editing hardware and so on), but if you need to correct some storage or vswitch settings you gonna need windows client=(

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