vSphere Client Silent Install

I was asked yesterday if I knew how to do a silent installation of the vSphere client. My client wanted to roll out the vSphere client to their Operations team automatically. They had experimented with getting it working and even asked a company about producing a custom MSI for them.

The solution is a little easier than that though. The key thing is using the right file. The VMware-viclient.exe file that can be downloaded from the vCenter server or an ESX / ESXi host is a self-extracting archive and doesn't pay any attention to the normal parameters and switches that you can try to add to get a silent installation performed.

The right file to use is from the vCenter installation media (zip file or iso). In the “vpx” folder is a VMware-viclient.exe file that is 137Mb in size (the archive file mentioned above is about 114Mb). If you place the file on the root of your C: drive then a silent installation (an unattended one at least) can be performed using the following command line:

[text]start /wait C:VMware-viclient.exe /q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qr"[/text]

If you'd like a log file created, use this instead to write a logfile to the user's temp directory:

[text]start /wait C:VMware-viclient.exe /q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qr /L*v "%TEMP%vmvcc.log""[/text]