Automating VI Client login

If you are using VMware VirtualCenter, hopefully by now you have had a chance to try passthrough authentication. Quite a few blogs were written about it even before it became an officially supported feature, which happened with VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 2. VMware technically calls this “Windows single sign-on support” and it is documented in KB 1006611.

One catch with this feature is that your client system must be in the same Active Directory domain as your VirtualCenter Server. What about your VC test lab that is not domain-joined? What about VMware ESX?

If you would like to save yourself a bunch of typing for those scenarios, too, there is a similar solution. It involves passing the username and password on the command line, so if you are dealing with a sensitive system where this is not acceptable, please stop reading now.

OK, you are still with me? Let’s proceed…

Just like with passthrough authentication, you’ll use a VI Client shortcut. You can make multiple copies of the shortcut, one for each target system.

Append the following parameters to VpxClient.exe in the Target line:

-s servername (can be an ESX or VirtualCenter hostname/IP)

-u username (root or Administrator, for example)

-p password (this is the sensitive part, you already know)

It should look like this when you are done:

Note: you can omit the -p parameter to get a partial benefit; you will then enter your password as usual in the login dialog, but the hostname and username fields will be populated for you. Perhaps a decent compromise.

I use this feature every day. Hopefully you will find it helpful, too.

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4 Responses to Automating VI Client login

  1. avanspronsen says:

    Hey, We are using pass through against multiple Virtual Centers in various AD domains without issue and without the extra config.

  2. Eric Gray says:

    Excellent. The additional configuration changes in vpxd.cfg are for enabling an optional behavior, not required.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Elvis says:

    Just for those, who like to do things through config. In VpxClient.exe.config file, you can specify default username:
    but as undocumented feature, you can also specify your password there, as simple as that:
    As with any plain text saved password, do not forget to crypt the file, lock your workstation and your hard-drive. But it will do the trick. And as its global config file, it will work under any user logged in to that workstation. Be careful with that.

  4. Elvis says:

    And sure it removed the tagged info. so open tag user close tag, open tag password close tag. 🙂

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