Dell OpenManage Server Administrator installation on ESXi 5

All right folks, I’ve decided to save you hours of time once again and provide a comprehensive guide to installing the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) client on ESXi 5. I pieced this together from a variety of user guides and forum posts and have tested it on an ESXi 5 box I use for labs. Instructions are as follows:

  1. Download the latest version of “Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi”. The easiest way to find it is to go to the Dell Support homepage. Select the model of the Dell server you are working with, filter the operating system to your version of ESXi, expand the System Management section, and do a search for “offline bundle”. Once you download the file, rename it to something simple like This will make your life easier during the later steps where you will be typing out the file path and filename.
  2. Put your ESXi host into maintenance mode and log into vCenter or vSphere and upload the file to the datastore your ESXi host uses.
  3. Enable SSH on your ESXi box and establish an SSH session with your favorite terminal emulator. I’m partial to Putty. Once you’ve established your SSH session, move the file from your datastore to /var/log/vmware. Your datastore will be stored under /vmfs/volumes/<datastore_id>. You can obtain the datastore_id variable from the within vCenter/vSphere by clicking the configuration tab, selecting the storage from the hardware menu, and clicking on your datastore in the Datastore pane.
  4. Now you’ll want to install the vib to the ESXi host. You can do this by typing the following command.
    esxcli software vib install -d /var/log/vmware/<OMSA_filename>
    You’ll then be prompted to enter the root username and password. If the installation is successful you’ll receive something similar to the following:

    Installation Result
    Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
    Reboot Required: true
    VIBs Installed: Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_<OMSA_version>
    VIBs Removed:
    VIBs Skipped:

  5. At this point, most guides will tell you to reboot the server, however, we are not done yet. ESXi 5 has a built-in firewall that allows only pre-configured built in services to be allowed through. OMSA runs off port 1311, so we’re going to need to create a new persistent firewall rule.
    You can download the OpenManage rule I’ve created from here. Optionally, you can create your own by following the directions from VMWare.
    Once the rule is complete, upload it to the ESXi host’s datastore.
  6. Now we need to edit /etc/rc.local to make sure that the firewall rule is copied to /etc/vmware/firewall each time the computer is rebooted. We can do this by establishing a SSH connection with our ESXi host, opening vi, and adding the following few lines as referenced by this VMWare article.
    cp <location of xml> /etc/vmware/firewall
    esxcli network firewall refresh
  7. Finally, reboot your ESXi box for all of the changes to take effect. To access the OMSA installation on the ESXi server, you’ll need to open OMSA Web Services on another box and log into the ESXi host.
    Remember that when you log into OMSA Web Services on another computer, you may be automatically logged into OMSA on that computer. Hit Log Out, then the Log In button, and down towards the bottom of the log in page, hit the Manage Remote Node link.

That’s it folks. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Dell OpenManage Server Administrator installation on ESXi 5

  1. Hi.

    Thank’s for your effort and for sharing 🙂

    Please let me to make you a minor correction.

    About made custom FW rules persistent across reboots, you have put a link to an article that explain how to make a VIB package for ESXi.

    That’s great and interesting but maybe the article that you want to reference is this (last lines under “Additional Information”):



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