vSphere Client Silent Install

I was asked yesterday if I knew how to do a silent installation of the vSphere client. My client wanted to roll out the vSphere client to their Operations team automatically. They had experimented with getting it working and even asked a company about producing a custom MSI for them.

The solution is a little easier than that though. The key thing is using the right file. The VMware-viclient.exe file that can be downloaded from the vCenter server or an ESX / ESXi host is a self-extracting archive and doesn’t pay any attention to the normal parameters and switches that you can try to add to get a silent installation performed.

The right file to use is from the vCenter installation media (zip file or iso). In the “vpx” folder is a VMware-viclient.exe file that is 137Mb in size (the archive file mentioned above is about 114Mb). If you place the file on the root of your C:\ drive then a silent installation (an unattended one at least) can be performed using the following command line:

start /wait C:\VMware-viclient.exe /q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qr"

If you’d like a log file created, use this instead to write a logfile to the user’s temp directory:

start /wait C:\VMware-viclient.exe /q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qr /L*v \"%TEMP%\vmvcc.log\""

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.

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