Overview of vSphere Command-Line Interfaces
vSphere includes commands for managing different aspects of your environment, either locally or remotely.
ESXCLI commands
Manage many aspects of an ESXi host. You can run ESXCLI commands remotely or in the ESXi Shell.
vCLI package.Install the vCLI package on the server of your choice, or deploy a vMA virtual machine and target the ESXi system that you want manipulate. You can run ESXCLI commands against a vCenter Server system and target the host indirectly. Running against vCenter Server systems by using the -vihost parameter is required if the host is in lockdown mode.
ESXi shell. Run ESXCLI commands in the local ESXi shell to manage that host.
esxcfg- commands
Available in the ESXi Shell. esxcfg- commands are still included in this release but are deprecated. Migrate to ESXCLI where possible. ESXCLI replacements exist for most commands.
vicfg- and other vCLI commands
Note: If the ESXi system is in lockdown mode, you must run commands against the vCenter Server system that manages your ESXi system.
localcli commands
Set of commands for use with VMware Technical Support. localcli commands are equivalent to ESXCLI commands, but bypass hostd. The localcli commands are only for situations when hostd is unavailable and cannot be restarted. After you run a localcli command, you must restart hostd. Run ESXCLI commands after the restart.
If you use a localcli command in other situations, an inconsistent system state and potential failure can result.