Monitor VMware vSphere from FreeBSD using the Perl SDK

       450 words, 3 minutes

VMware provides a CLI and a Perl SDK that allows managing and monitoring vSphere and ESXi environment from Windows and Linux. The Perl SDK is also available in the FreeBSD ports tree.

Here’s how to install and, basically, use the VMware Perl SDK on FreeBSD.

I’m using FreeBSD 8.3 but I guess what really matters in the ports tree. Use portsnap to get and/or update your ports tree. There is no binary package available as it is required to get the stuff from VMware’s website, creating an account and accepting the license.

Here’s what FreeBSD will tell you:

  ===>  License check disabled, port has not defined LICENSE
   Due to licensing restrictions, certain files must be fetched manually.
   Please visit
   and choose Download.  Then, login using a VMware account and accept the license agreement.
   Choose the download for vSphere SDK for Perl - 32-bit Linux Installer (even if you are not on i386)
   After the download has completed, please place VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-5.0.0-422456.i386.tar.gz in
   /usr/ports/distfiles, then restart the build.

Download the archive, copy it where it shall be stored and run the installer:

  # mkdir /usr/ports/distfiles
  # mv VMware/VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-5.0.0-422456.i386.tar.gz /usr/ports/distfiles/
  # cd /usr/ports/net/vmware-vsphere-cli
  # make install clean
  ===>  License check disabled, port has not defined LICENSE
  ===>  Extracting for vmware-vsphere-cli-5.0.0
  => SHA256 Checksum OK for VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-5.0.0-422456.i386.tar.gz.
  ===>   vmware-vsphere-cli-5.0.0 depends on file: /usr/local/bin/perl5.12.4 - found
  install  -o root -g wheel -m 555 /usr/ports/net/vmware-vsphere-cli/work/VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-5.0.0-422456.i386/bin/viperl-support /usr/local/bin
  Please note that, by default, an underlying Perl module does certificate
  verification when communicating with vSphere hosts.
  You must create a file that contains the public keys of all of your
  vSphere hosts and then configure your Perl scripts to have the following
  $ENV{HTTPS_CA_FILE} = "/path/to/file";
  If you want to disable this important security feature, you may set the
  following variable to 0:
  ===>   Compressing manual pages for vmware-vsphere-cli-5.0.0
  ===>   Registering installation for vmware-vsphere-cli-5.0.0

During the building process, I did “Enable national language support” for e2fsprogs-libuuid and “Enable https support” for p5-libwww.

Now, it’s time to test the API:

  # /usr/local/share/examples/vmware-vsphere-cli/host/ \
    --server esxi --username 'admin' --password 'pass'
  Host Information 
  Host Name:	 
  Port Number:		         902 
  BootTime:		         2012-05-05T10:08:01.907061Z 
  Cpu Model:		         Genuine Intel(R) CPU 0 @ 2.30GHz 
  Cpu Speed:		         9179149192 
  Cpu Usage:		         281 
  File System:		         vmfs nfs vfat  
  Host Status:		         The status is unknown 
  Maintenance mode:		 0 
  Physical Memory:		 17087459328 bytes 
  Memory Usage:		         13068MB 
  Network Adapters:		 2 
  Reboot Required:		 0 
  Software on host:		 VMware ESXi 5.0.0 build-623860 
  VMotion:		         0 

If you get errors like “Server version unavailable at 'https://esxi:443/sdk/vimService.wsdl' at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.4/VMware/ line 545”, this is because LWP is not accepting the self-signed certificate from the ESXi.
Just add the following line to any script you run:


So far so good, happy monitoring!