How to Download and Install VMware PowerCLI


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VMware’s PowerCLI is a powerful tool that can be used to automate and optimize many of VMware’s functions. It has come to the point where these tools are indispensable for any IT professional who uses or administers VMware products. With so much power, it may seem intimidating at first but don’t worry! This article will show you how easy it is to download and install PowerCLI on your Windows machine from within windows PowerShell.

The “vmware powercli download” is a command-line tool that allows users to search and download app packages from the iOS App Store.

How to Download and Install VMware PowerCLI

VMWare’s PowerCLI is the de-facto method to use PowerShell to control vCenter. You’ll learn how to get started from scratch in this guide, including how to download, install, and comprehend how PowerCLI may help you get more done.

Along the way, you’ll discover:

  • How to identify PowerCLI versions from the past that you might find in legacy scripts
  • How can I get the most current PowerCLI version?
  • Make use of VMware Code as a tool.
  • How to install VMware PowerCLI for cross-platform usage When using Windows, PowerShell 5.1 and Windows PowerShell 6/7.

“In most ways, the VMware PowerCLI administrative interface is the most consistent in the hypervisor’s long history.”

The above-mentioned observation was made in regards to PowerCLI’s resiliency and relevance in a system administrator’s toolbox. It was presented at the PowerShell Summit in 2019 during a VMware PowerCLI session.

From the first software client through the flash client, HTML5 and flex web-client versions, interacting with vSphere and VMware has gone through many revisions. The interfaces changed with each new iteration, and they were often problematic or missing in features.

On the other hand, the syntax of VMware PowerCLI has stayed consistent throughout its history, with just one distribution modification. The shift from a PowerShell snapin to a PowerShell module was a significant step.

When it comes to managing VMware products, PowerCLI is practically the last man standing.

From Snapin to No Public Access, it’s been a long road.

The original VMware PowerCLI download URL was hidden under a PowerCLI 5.1 page link. The public had restricted access to this tool as a result of this limitation.

PowerCLI 5.1 and before used a PSSnapin instead of a module, which made portability considerably more difficult. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll remember this as an older format for such tools. Because of the time-consuming installation process, snapins have had a harder time gaining widespread acceptance of PowerCLI. Fortunately for you, PowerCLI is now available as a PowerShell module rather than a snapin, as of version 6.0.

The game has began to evolve with the introduction of PowerCLI 6.0 in September of 2015. This was the first version to be distributed as a PowerShell module, containing over 400 cmdlets in total. The need for a account remained in place until version 6.5.1 was uploaded to the Gallery of PowerShell on April 20, 2017.

The module provides slightly under 700 cmdlets in the current version (11.3.0) of VMware PowerCLI providing administrative coverage across a variety of VMware products. vCenter, vCloud Director, VMware Horizon, and a number of other products are among them.

The number of cmdlets grows as the VMware portfolio expands, but the tried-and-true PowerCLI standards remain a steadfast force of consistency.

PowerCLI's PowerShell module has a number of cmdlets.PowerCLI’s PowerShell module has a number of cmdlets.


We’re about to start a demo, so make sure you have all of these requirements in order to follow along with me.

  • Validation testing is done on a VMware host or a vCenter server.
  • Client computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux)

VMware PowerCLI is available for download.

This is the link to the PowerCLI project team’s new long-term home. All feature requests, comments, and documentation for this module submitted by the community are now housed on the same site as the SDK, API, and certification materials.

You may contact both the PowerCLI team and the community around this project at if you have any concerns or desire to raise feature requests directly with the team. Questions, complaints, and new ideas are promptly addressed by both the community and the VMware project team.

If you want to get PowerCLI via the web, the PowerCLI team gives a direct access to two PowerShell module options:

  • To download and install using PowerShell’s package manager, go to the Gallery of PowerShell website.
  • file containing the module’s contents, which must be manually installed.

Although the Gallery of PowerShell is by far the most popular method of getting PowerCLI, the zip archive will also work. It’s worth noting that the Gallery of PowerShell link isn’t required. You can also use PowerShell to get it.

Using Windows PowerShell to install VMware PowerCLI

PowerCLI may be installed in a number different methods.

You’ll need to manually install it if you obtained it from the aforementioned source over the web. PowerCLI must be installed in a location where PowerShell can see it.

To use the given zip package to install the module, extract the contents to the module’s desired directory. This will either be the path of your user profile (for non-administrative scope) or the system-wide modules folder.

Documents % UserProfile % UserProfile % UserProfile % UserProf C:Program FilesWindowsPowerShellModules WindowsPowerShellModules

Extract the contents of file to one of the locations listed above.

Gallery of PowerShell

The easiest and fastest way you can download and install PowerCLI today is to use download the module from the Gallery of PowerShell within a PowerShell console. Below you will find a quick video on the general installation steps for a new module to PowerShell with this method.


Overall, you can get the job done by running the following commands from an administrator PowerShell prompt.

PS51> Install-Module VMware.PowerCLI

You may use the Scope argument to install the module into your user profile module path if you want to install PowerCLI on a workstation where you don’t have administrative capabilities.

PS51> Install-Module VMware.PowerCLI -Scope CurrentUser

Installing VMware PowerCLI on Linux with PowerShell 6

Nowadays, you can also install PowerCLI on non-Windows systems. For example, we can install PowerCLI in PowerShell Core on Ubuntu. Again, depending on if you’ve chosen to download the zip file, the Gallery of PowerShell’s web link or directly via the PowerShell console, the installation process is a little different.

Depending on your Linux distribution, you’ll extract the contents of file to various places.

Run pwsh in your terminal to start PowerShell on Linux. Use the following command to find suitable PSModulePath locations:

PS61> ($env:PSModulePath).split(“:”)

PSModulePath directoriesPSModulePath directories

Once you’ve decided where you want the module files to go, download them to that directory and get ready to unzip. For user access, unzip them to the /home/ folder; for system access, unzip them to the /opt/ folder.

I’m using Ubuntu 18.04 for this example of a Linux-based installation, and I’ll install VMware PowerCLI 11 using file obtained from here, allowing all users of this system to access the module.

> cd /opt/microsoft/powershell/6/Modules > sudo apt install unzip > sudo wget > sudo unzip ./

Because the module files are now in one of your $PSModulePath locations, you can now import this module by running:

VMware.PowerCLI Import-Module

Installing the VMware PowerCLI Snapin from the Past

It’s possible that you’ll need to reinstall the older PowerCLI snapin on occasion. Maybe you’ve assumed responsibility for some old code and need to solve issues. It’s vital to install the previous snapin to avoid re-architecting your current scripts.

You’ll need a account to login and download the VMware-PowerCLI-5.1.0-3090428.exe file to install the old snapin. Install the snapin using the executable as a regular Windows program after downloading it.

The VMware cmdlets may then be loaded into your session using Add-PSSnapin, or you can use the supplied VMware PowerCLI terminal to execute standalone.

I’m using the Add-PSSnapin cmdlet to add PowerCLI version 5.1 to my current console session, as seen below.

PS51> Add-PSSnapin VMware*

Snapins for PowerCLISnapins for PowerCLI

The standalone VMware PowerCLI shortcut that is loaded with version 5.1 is launched.

Console PowerCLI 5.1Console PowerCLI 5.1

It should be noted that the aforementioned snapin does not work with PowerShell 6/7.

Verifying PowerCLI Installation

Regardless of your PowerShell version, confirming your PowerCLI installation as successful is the same. The first step is to check the PowerShell console for the existence of the modules.

VMware* Get-Module -ListAvailable

Modules for PowerCLI that are availableModules for PowerCLI that are available

Then, using the Connect-VIServer cmdlet in PowerCLI, try to connect to vCenter. This will not only ensure that the module was installed properly, but also that you are connected to your infrastructure appropriately.

When using Windows,

PS51> Connect-VIServer <FQDN of vCenter or ESXi Host>

Connecting to vCenter with VMware PowerCLI When using Windows,Connecting to vCenter with VMware PowerCLI When using Windows,

On Linux

If you find any connection troubles during confirming installation on Linux, you must first change the connection settings to account for an invalid (or default self-signed certificate). To connect to vCenter, I’m using PowerCLI.

PS> Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -InvalidCertificateAction:ignore PS> Connect-VIServer <FQDN of vCenter or ESXi Host>

Using VMware PowerCLI on Linux to connect to vCenterUsing VMware PowerCLI on Linux to connect to vCenter

The PowerCLI is now up and running, since you were able to connect to your VMware endpoint successfully.

PowerCLI and Forth!

From here on out, you’ll be able to answer the age-old question, “How do I install VMware PowerCLI?” You can now start automating your configuration deployments, VM Reports, and maintenance operations using scripts. Keep an eye out on this blog for fresh and forthcoming posts on how to get started with PowerCLI.

Additional Reading

The “install vmware powercli powershell” is a command-line tool that allows users to manage VMware virtual machines. It can be installed by downloading the installer from the VMware website and then running it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I download VMware PowerCLI?

A: To download VMware PowerCLI, you need to go to the vSphere Web Client. From there, select Manage and then Downloads and Extensions from the menus in front of you. Then click on Power CLI (64-bit).

How manually install PowerCLI?

A: You can find out how to manually install PowerCLI on our support article here.

How do I get PowerCLI in PowerShell?

A: PowerCLI is a Microsoft software tool for managing and automating system administration tasks in Windows environments.

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