Thursday, 17 November 2016

vSphere 6.5: Installing vCenter Server Appliance Via Command Line

Along with the GUI method of deploying vCenter appliance, there is a command line path as well, which I would say is quite fun and easy to follow. There are a set of pre-defined templates available and these are on the vCenter 6.5 appliance ISO file. Download and mount the VCSA 6.5 ISO and browse to

CD Drive:\vcsa-cli-installer\templates\install

You will see the following list of templates:

You can choose the required template from here for deployment. I will be going with the embedded VCSA being deployed on an ESXi host. So my template will be embedded_vCSA_on_ESXi.json

Open the required template using a notepad. The notepad has a list of details that you need to fill out. For my case, it was to provide ESXi host details, appliance details, networking details for the appliance, Single Sign On details. The file looks somewhat similar to the below image, post the edit:


Save the file as .json on to your desktop. Next, you will have to call this file using the vcsa-deploy.exe file. 
In the CD drive, browse to vcsa-cli-installer-win32/lin64/mac depending on the OS you are accessing this from and run the below command from PowerShell

vcsa-deploy.exe install --no-esx-ssl-verify --accept-eula --acknowledge-ceip “Path to the json file”

If there are errors in the edited file, it is going to display what the error is and in which line of the file this error is contained. The first step is a template verification, and if the template verification completes successfully, you should be seeing the below message:


The next step it starts automatically is the appliance deployment, and you will see the below task in progress:


Once the appliance is deployed, the final stage is configuring of the services. At this point you will see the below task in progress:


That's pretty much it, you can go ahead and login to web client (Flash / HTML)

Hope this helps!