Tag Archives: vcenter

Deploy vSphere HTML5 Web Client

My last post had a link to a VMware Fling for the HTML5 Web Client for vSphere, but I thought I would follow-up with a step-by-step guide on deploying it (since it is an appliance). These guides seem to get the most traffic, so I assume they are the most helpful. Here we go.

First lets grab the HTML5 Appliance .OVA file and we will also need a .bat file (assuming you are using vCenter on Windows). You can grab those here.

Always use the regular Web Client to deploy and configure your VMs. More and more features are being removed from the thick client. If you try to deploy this appliance using the thick client, you will need to setup and IP pool. (This is not required if you are using the web client).
vSphere HTML5 Web Client IP Pools

Appliance Deployment

Through the existing Web Client, deploy a new OVF Template. Select the downloaded .ova file, accept the agreements, choose your storage, networks, and deploy.


Configure vSphere HTML5 appliance with vCenter for Windows

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator and Run the “Server-Configure.bat” script we downloaded from VMware’s fling page earlier on the Windows server where vCenter is installed. This must be ran as Administrator, and must be run from Command Prompt, and not just RIght-Clicked and Ran from Explorer
    (The script assumes vCenter was installed using the default path. If it was not, you will need to modify the script).

  2. SSH into the HTML5 appliance (username = root , password = demova) and create the following directories for the config files.
    –  mkdir /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/
    –  mkdir /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/config/
    –  mkdir /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/vsphere-client/

  3. Using WinSCP or another file transfer method, copy the generated files from the “Server-Configure.bat” script to the directories we just created on the appliance. See below:
    –   /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/store.jks
    –  /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/config/ds.properties
    –  /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/vsphere-client/webclient.properties

  4. Keeping time sync between the HTML5 Web Client and vCenter is critical. You should add an NTP entry to the appliance. This can be done by going to https://appliance_ip:5480 and login with rootdemova , or add an NTP server via CLI in the appliance:
    –  /etc/init.d/vsphere-client configure ntp_servers <IP address of NTP Server(s)>
    vSphere HTML5 Web Client Windows Fig 7

  5. Start the Web Client services
    –  /etc/init.d/vsphere-client start

Now you can use the HTML5 Web Client by hitting its URL at https://IP_of_appliance:9443/ui

Change VMware vCenter Appliance’s Default Password, or Else…

For those running VMware’s vCenter appliance (if not, it should be something to consider in vSphere 6), you may run into an issue where you cannot authenticate using the default appliance credentials.
Username: root
Password: vmware

You have 90 days to change this password or else you will see this error when trying to login to the appliance:

As a note: Once you have changed the default password, you can choose to have your new password NOT expire. This is done in the appliance web portal- https://applianceIP:5480

For those that are facing this issue, there is a solution! (Besides blowing the VM away and starting from scratch). This can be done using some commands, but needs to be done from a “LIVE CD”. A Live CD is a bootable ISO (or actual CD) you can download and boot into. This allows you to run a temporary environment that has access to the actual installed OS.  Any Linux Live CD will do, but I prefer Kali Linux or Ubuntu. You will need “console” access to your vCenter appliance, which you can access from the vSphere Web Client. Just connect to the actual host where your Appliance VM resides.

– Mount the Live CD to the VCenter Appliance VM and boot into the ISO/CD.

– Next, bring up a Terminal or Shell and enable root user:

su -

– Then we need to mount the vCenter Virtual Appliance’s root parition

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

– We need to /mnt/etc/shadow file to disable the account lock. Use the Vi editor to make the edit.

vi /mnt/etc/shadow

*When the root password is expired there should be an x in front of the password string.

– Delete the “x” character in front of the password string. (The password string is the text after “root:“. Then save the changes in Vi editor (ZZ is the Vi Editor SAVE command, then quit with :q command).

– Unmount the LiveCD and reboot the vCenter Appliance VM. Now you should be able to login with the default/last root password you had set.

– If you don’t want the password to expire, you can login to the appliance (now that the password has been enabled), click on the “Admin” tab, and check the box to NOT expire the password

Patch an VMware ESXi Host without vCenter

Here is an easy step by step guide, how you can update this ESXi 5 host to the latest version…

1: Start your VMware Hypervisor EXSi 5 like you normal do, and connect to this host with your vSphere Client.

2: Switch the host to maintenance mode.

3: Install the needed patches (they can be found here: http://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/download.portal ) on one of you datastore’s in a folder called patch (in my case the Datastore is called Backup

4: goto the Configuration tab of your host, select Security Profile (under Software in the left) and select the Services Properties in the upper right of your screen

5: Select ESXi Shell and SSH and start these Services with the Start Service command button under Options…
make sure (just as on the screen both services are running(!)

6: Start PuTTY (you can find it here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html)

and login as the root to this host…

ow run the command:

esxcli software vib update -d /vmfs/volumes/[Datastorename]/[patchfilename].zip

: be patient(!) this can take some minutes(!) and repeat this for all the patch zip files (make sure you do this in the released order…

8 close puTTY, delete the patch directory from the datastore,  reboot the host. When the host is back, exit the maintenance mode and you are done!

your host is running the latest patches


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Upgrade vCenter Appliance 5.0/5.1 to 5.5

I have a client that is running vCenter Appliance 5.1 and needs to upgrade to 5.5. I am going to document the process of upgrading their vCenter Appliance to 5.5.

– First, you will need to download a full new version of the vCenter Appliance from VMware’s website. We are going to deploy an entirely new Appliance during this process.

– In vSphere, click “File” and select “Deploy OVF Template.” Select the OVA files you downloaded.

– Name your VM, Select the correct Network and Datastore and click Finish. Let it Deploy

– Set the IP information of the new vCenter server. See my previous post about modifying vCenter Appliance IP here. (The default login is Username: root Password: vmware)

– Connect to both the OLD and the NEW vCenter Appliances in separate browser windows.

– In the new vCenter Appliance Browser Window, Accept the EULA and select “Upgrade from Previous Version”

– Copy the Key from Box number 1.

– Paste that key into the OLD vCenter Appliance, under the Upgrade tab. Click “Import Key and Stop vCenter Server”

– Copy the Upgrade Key that will be presented and paste that key in Box #2 in the NEW vCenter Server and click Next.

– If there are any issues with certificates, you will need to check the “Replace the SSL Certificates box and then click Next.

– Next, you will be prompted for the SSO password for the user administrator@vpshere.local. This should be “root”

– You should be presented with the ESXi Hosts that will be imported into the new vCenter Appliance. Make sure they are checked, and click Next.

– Review the Upgrade Check and take care of any errors before proceeding

– Click to confirm that you have taken a backup/snapshot of the source vCenter Database and click Start

– When the upgrade completes, click Close. The vCenter Appliance will now reboot and the upgrade is complete.

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