When you run a vCLI host management command, authentication happens in order of precedence.

The order of precedence is described in the following table. This order of precedence always applies. That means, for example, that you cannot override an environment variable setting in a configuration file.


Available options and order of precedence are different for DCLI. See Order of Precedence for DCLI Authentication.

If you are authenticating through vCenter Single Sign-On, the order of precedence is preserved. For example, information you specify on the command line overrides information in an environment variable.




Command line

Password (--password), session file (--sessionfile), or configuration file (--config) specified on the command line.

Create and Use a Session File

Environment variable

Password specified in an environment variable.

Using Environment Variables

Configuration file

Password specified in a configuration file.

Using a Configuration File

Current account (Active Directory)

Current account information used to establish an SSPI connection. Available only on Windows.

Using the Microsoft Windows Security Support Provider Interface

Credential store

Password retrieved from the credential store.

vSphere Web Services SDK Programming Guide and vSphere SDK for Perl Programming Guide

Prompt the user for a password

Password is not echoed to screen.