VMware CLI Dockerized

August 28, 2014
vmware cli docker notes

Here are some rough notes describing how to dockerize VMware vSphere CLI and OVF Tool.


After getting both tools to successfully install on Ubuntu 12.04 (precise), I kept getting the following error when running vmware-cmd:

$ vmware-cmd -U <user> -P <pass> -H <esxi ip> -l

Server version unavailable at 'https://<esxi ip>:443/sdk/vimService.wsdl' at /usr/share/perl5/VMware/VICommon.pm line 551.


After searching around the Internet, the most commonly suggested fix did not work:


What did work for me was installing an older version of libwww-perl through CPAN.

cpan install GAAS/libwww-perl-5.837.tar.gz`


Here is the complete Dockerfile for building the image.

FROM ubuntu:12.04

# Install dependencies
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y wget tar perl make iputils-ping uuid-dev libssl-dev libxml2-dev \
    libarchive-zip-perl libsoap-lite-perl libdata-dump-perl perl-doc libxml-libxml-perl

# Install cpanminus (autoconfigures cpan)
RUN wget -O - http://cpanmin.us | perl - --self-upgrade

# Install OVF Tool and cleanup
ADD VMware-ovftool-3.5.0-1274719-lin.x86_64.bundle ovftool
RUN yes | /bin/bash ovftool --required --console \
    && rm -f ovftool

# Install VMware CLI, old libwww-perl, and cleanup
ADD VMware-vSphere-CLI-5.5.0-1549297.x86_64.tar.gz /
RUN yes | ./vmware-vsphere-cli-distrib/vmware-install.pl -d \
    && rm -rf vmware-vsphere-cli-distrib \
    && cpan install GAAS/libwww-perl-5.837.tar.gz

Building from Dockerfile

To successfully build you will need to have VMware CLI and OVF Tool packages downloaded and in same directory as the Dockerfile.

docker build -t vmware_tools .

Running Tools in Container

Now you have an image that can be used to create a container with VMware CLI and OVF Tool installed. Here is a simple example to list all virtual machines on an ESXi server.

docker run --rm vmware_tools vmware-cmd -U <user> -P <password> -H <esxi ip> -l

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