You can run an ESXCLI command, installed as part of vCLI, in the ESXi Shell for troubleshooting purposes and remotely against a specific host or against a vCenter Server system.

When running an ESXCLI command, installed as part of vCLI, you have the following options.

Deploy the vMA appliance, which includes vCLI and ESXCLI, on an ESXi system and authenticate against a set of target servers. You can then run ESXCLI commands against any target server by specifying the --host dispatcher option. No additional authentication is required. See the vSphere Management Assistant Guide.

Install the vCLI package on one of the supported Windows or Linux systems. The ESXCLI command set is included. Specify connection options to run commands against an ESXi host directly, or target a vCenter Server system and specify the ESXi host to run the command against. See Installing vCLI.


Starting with vSphere 6.0, a trust relationship must exist between the host from which you run ESXCLI commands and the target ESXi host or vCenter Server system. See Trust Relationship Requirement for ESXCLI Commands.

See Running vCLI Host Management Commands.