My Virtualization collections and encounters..

Month: December 2011

Learning PowerCli!

6. How to store user credentials using the PowerCli?

   $cred = Get-Credential

The above code will save the credentials (if you vCenter credentials are not same as your windows FQDN).

There after you can connect to your vCenter just by typing the below command.

Connect-VIServer -Credential $cred


7. How to connect to ESX host ?

Connect-VIServer “” -Credential $cred

To connect to ESX host directly you need to alter the PowerCli proxy configuration.

To check your PowerCli proxy configuration


To change the proxy configuration to “No Proxy” use the following command.

Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -ProxyPolicy NoProxy


8. How to disconnect from connected ESX or vCenter server?


To disconnect from all connect host / VC  you can supply the below command.

disconnect-VIServer *


9. PowerCli Cmdlets


10.  How to get list of command by verb and noun?

Get-Vicommand | group-object noun

Get-Vicommand | group-object verb

To sort by count

Get-Vicommand | group-object verb | sort count

11. How to declare a variable?

$vm = Get-VM Win_XP

Now the $VM inherits the get-vm command for virtual machine Win_XP, we can perform task like

$VM.name or $vm |Get-VMguest

12. How export data in a spread sheet?

Get-Vm | Export-Csv  -path data.csv -notypeinformation

to read the file the following command can be used.

Invoke-Item data.csv

13. How to fetch report of only column which we want?

Get-Vm | select-object name, Memorymb, numcpu|Export-Csv  -path data.csv -notypeinformation

Alias for Invoke Item is “ii”

ii data.csv

14. How to get the member data (Column names)?

Get-VM | Get-Member

15. How get the table output in an HTML format?

Get-VM | select-object name,MemoryMb, numcpu | ConvertTo-HTML | set-content data.html

To execute the code its

 ii data.html

16. How to read data in list instead of table view.

Get-VM | Format-List

17. How to use the . before its properties.


18. How to identify VM which has less than 1 GB RAM configured?

$ram = Get-VM | Where-object {$_.memoryMB -lt 1024}

$_  accepts what every object comes through the pipeline.

19. To identify to which ESX host a VM is connected, the below command can be used.

Get-VM Win_XP | Get-VMHost


20. How to add a ESX / ESXi host to VCenter server  using PowerCli?

Add-VMHost -Name -user root -pass Admin123 -location $dc -RunAsync -Force

$dc is mapped to Get-Datacenter and Force is used to ignore host SSL certificate validation.

21. How to add new VMHostAccount?

New-VMHostAccount -Id newuser -Password Admin123 -Description “hey there” -Gr


You need to directly connected to host to perform this task. The granstshell access represent SSH access.

22. How to find list of available commands for the command lets.

Get-Command *VMhostservice


23. GCM is the short form of get command.

gcm  Get-VM


24. How to overcome if you receive  error message something like “it’s not digitally signed” while running a PowerCli script.

Run this command

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

How to release locked Files of a VM?

Sometimes a file or set of files in a VMFS become locked and any attempts to edit them or delete will give a device or resource busy error, even though the vm associated with the files is not running.  If the vm is running then you would need to stop the vm to manipulate the files.  If you know that the vm is stopped then you need to find the ESX server that has the files locked and then stop the process that is locking the file(s).

  1. Logon to the ESX host where the VM was last known to be running.
  2. vmkfstools -D /vmfs/volumes/path/to/file to dump information on the file into /var/log/vmkernel
  3. less /var/log/vmkerneland scroll to the bottom, you will see output like below:
    1. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: 2:00:15:18.435 cpu6:1038)FS3: 130: <START vmware-16.log>
    2. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: 2:00:15:18.435 cpu6:1038)Lock [type 10c00001 offset 30439424 v 21, hb offset 4154368
    3. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: gen 66493, mode 1, owner 46c60a7c-94813bcf-4273-0017a44c7727 mtime 8781867]  ß Bold type added to number for emphasis.
    4. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: 2:00:15:18.435 cpu6:1038)Addr <4, 588, 7>, gen 20, links 1, type reg, flags 0x0, uid 0, gid 0, mode 644
    5. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: 2:00:15:18.435 cpu6:1038)len 23973, nb 1 tbz 0, zla 2, bs 65536
    6. Nov 29 15:49:17 vm22 vmkernel: 2:00:15:18.435 cpu6:1038)FS3: 132: <END vmware-16.log>
  4. The owner of the lock is on line 3c, the last part is all you need, in this case 0017a44c7727

  5. esxcfg-info | grep -i ‘system uuid’ | awk -F ‘-‘ ‘{print $NF}’ will display the system uuid of the esx server.  You need to run the esxcfg-info command on each esx server in the cluster to discover the owner.
  6. When you find the ESX server that matches the uuid owner, logon to that ESX server and run the command: ps -elf|grep vmnamewhere vmname is the problem vm.  Example output below:
    1. 4 S root      7570     1  0  65 -10    –   435 schedu Nov27 ?        00:00:02 /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmkload_app /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx -ssched.group=host/user/pool2 -@ pipe=/tmp/vmhsdaemon-0/vmxf7fb85ef5d8b3522;vm=f7fb85ef5d8b3522 /vmfs/volumes/470e25b6-37016b37-a2b3-001b78bedd4c/iu-lsps-vstest/iu-lsps-vstest.vmx0
  7. Since there is a process running, pid 7570 in the example, you need to kill it by following steps 5-12 on stopping a VM above

Once the kill is complete the files should be released.


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