With the DCLI command set, you can run virtual machine management, appliance management, content library, and tagging commands.

You cannot manage services that are part of vSphere 5.5 or earlier from DCLI. DCLI is not a host management CLI.

DCLI is a CLI client of the vSphere Automation SDK. The following workflow explains how DCLI works.


You run a DCLI command.


If you are not authenticated, DCLI prompts for a user name and password.


The command connects you to the vCenter Single Sign-On service and checks whether the user account specified on the command-line or in a credential store file can authenticate.


If you can authenticate, DCLI communicates with the vCenter Server and runs the vSphere Automation API that corresponds to the DCLI command. Different vCenter Server systems support different services.


If the authenticated user account does not have permissions to run the DCLI command, you receive an Unauthorized error message, even if the user credentials are correct.


DCLI displays the result or an error message.

You can run DCLI commands as follows.

vCLI package - Install the vCLI package on the server of your choice, or deploy a vMA virtual machine. You can then run DCLI commands against an endpoint. See Using DCLI Commands.

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.