You can run vicfg-authconfig to add the ESXi host to the Active Directory domain. You can run the command directly against the host or against a vCenter Server system, specifying the host with --vihost.

Verify that you have installed the ESXi host, as explained in the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.

Verify that you have installed Windows Active Directory on a Windows Server that runs Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008. See the Microsoft Web site for instructions and best practices.

Verify that you have the appropriate Active Directory permissions and administrative privileges on the ESXi host.

Verify that time between the ESXi system and Windows Active Directory is synchronized.


Test that the Windows Active Directory Server can ping the ESXi host by using the host name.

ping <ESX_hostname>

Run vicfg-authconfig to add the host to the Active Directory domain.

vicfg-authconfig --server=<ESXi Server IP Address>
   --username=<ESXi Server Admin Username>
   --password=<ESXi Server Admin User's Password>
   --authscheme AD --joindomain <AD Domain Name>
   --adusername=<Active Directory Administrator User Name>
   --adpassword=<Active Directory Administrator User's Password>

The system prompts for user names and passwords if you do not specify them on the command line. Passwords are not echoed to the screen.


Check that a Successfully Joined <Domain Name> message appears.


Verify the ESXi host is in the intended Windows Active Directory domain.

vicfg-authconfig --server XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX --authscheme AD -c

You are prompted for a user name and password for the ESXi system.