Overview of vSphere Command-Line Interfaces
vSphere includes commands for managing different aspects of your environment. The following CLIs are available for managing hosts, either directly or through the vCenter Server system that manages the host.
vSphere CLIs for host management.
The following command sets are available and are discussed either in this manual or other VMware documentation.
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.
vicfg- and other vCLI commands
Note: If the ESXi system is in strict lockdown mode, you must run commands against the vCenter Server system that manages your ESXi system.
esxcfg- commands
Available in the ESXi Shell. esxcfg- commands are still included in this release but are deprecated. Migrate to ESXCLI where possible.
vCenter Server appliance. Run DCLI commands from the vCenter Server Appliance shell. See Running DCLI Commands on the vCenter Server Appliance.
vCenter Server Windows command prompt. Install vCenter Server on a supported Windows system and run DCLI commands from the command prompt.
localcli commands
Set of commands for use with VMware Technical Support. localcli commands are equivalent to ESXCLI commands, but bypass the hoste daemon (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.
Warning: If you use a localcli command, an inconsistent system state and potential failure can result.
pktcap-uw utility
vSphere Networking documentation
vSphere Security documentation