vSphere Upgrade Saga: Linux VMware Software Manager (VSM)

In my GitHub repository is LinuxVSM, a port of the VMware Software Manager to Linux. The reasons for the port were many, but the main one was that I used Linux as my repository of ISO and other images from VMware. So, I wanted a tool I could use on Linux and not depend on Windows. In creating the port, I fixed several VSM issues.

VMware Software Manager is the tool of choice for getting access to vSphere, vSphere with Operations Management, and vRealize Suite. There are other bits and pieces within VSM that are invaluable to keeping an accurate and up-to-date system. Unfortunately, months ago, VMware decided to stop supporting the tool. It fell into disrepair due to several bad changes to the data files: not corruptions per say, but incorrect information.

My first version of LinuxVSM was to just to fix those data issues and allow use of the tool as is. That worked really well for several months, until the data files stopped being upgraded regularly.

The next version would log in to My VMware and see what was missing. While you could see, you could not download. Eventually, the tool morphed into its current form, which allows you to log in to My VMware, uses the My VMware downloads information, and presents to the user the subset of downloads VSM allows. Yet, those downloads are up-to-date.

This allows one to stay up-to-date with the latest versions of vSphere and other tools necessary to keep one’s environment humming along.

The last thing done was to include the VMware Validated Designs downloads as a part of LinuxVSM. Architecture documents are incredibly valuable, so these were added.

How to I get and use LinuxVSM? The steps are pretty simple:

  • Create a Linux VM running either CentOS 7 Minimal or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Minimal. I suggest using an external share for the repository: either NFS, iSCSI, or SMB. Those using the tool already have configured for each of these. I personally use NFS.
  • Download the install.sh from the GitHub repository, as you not only need to install LinuxVSM properly, but also all the dependencies.
  • Run ‘sudo ./install.sh‘ to run the installer as root. It will download other installers and then run the appropriate one for LinuxVSM.
  • Refer to the GitHub site, as the README contains a way to keep LinuxVSM up-to-date on a daily basis.

There you go: a working version of VSM geared for Linux. It is easy to use. It is a command line tool with menus and many options. There is no web interface or GUI for this tool. Eventually, I will create an OVA, but this tool meets my needs and the needs of many other vExperts. The only requirement is a valid My VMware account.

Let me know if you wish for anything to be added, you find a bug, or there are other issues as in something does not download!

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

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