Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is a Linux console UI for vSphere, built on the RbVmomi bindings to the vSphere API. RVC is a console UI for VMware ESX and VirtualCenter. The vSphere object graph is presented as a virtual filesystem, allowing you to navigate and run commands against managed entities using familiar shell syntax. RVC doesn’t (yet) have every feature vSphere Client does, but for common tasks it can be much more efficient than clicking through a GUI.
- Tab Completion
Commands and paths can be tab completed in the usual fashion. Whitespace must be escaped with a backslash.
192.168.1.105:/> mark a dc/vm/foo
192.168.1.105:/> on ~a
PowerOnVM foo: success
192.168.1.105:/> off ~a
PowerOffVM foo: success
Marks allow you to save a path for later use. Refer to a mark by prefixing its name with a tilde. The “ls” command automatically creates numeric marks for each object listed; these are the numbers in the first column. As a special case, you don’t need to use a tilde with numeric marks. The “cd” command automatically creates the mark “~~” pointing to the previous directory. If a mark reference is input instead of a command then RVC will cd to the marked object. Thus, “~~” is a convenient way to toggle between two directories.
When the working directory is a descendant of a Datacenter object, the mark “~” refers to the Datacenter. For example “~/datastore” is a convenient way to get the datastore folder of the current datacenter.
- Ruby Mode
Beginning an input line with “/” causes RVC to treat it as Ruby code and eval it. This gives you direct access to the underlying RbVmomi library. If the line “//” is input then RVC will toggle between shell and Ruby mode.
Marks can be easily used in Ruby mode since there are magic variables with the same names. Since some marks, like numeric ones, aren’t valid variable names, they also exist with a “_” prefix.
The methods “this”, “conn”, and “dc” are provided in Ruby mode, returning the current object, connection, and datacenter respectively. The connection object is an instance of RbVmomi::VIM.
- VMODL Introspection
The “type” command can be used to display the properties and methods of a VMODL class. For example: “type Datacenter”.
In Ruby mode, a ’#’ at the end of the input line will display the output of the “type” command for the resulting object’s class. This is very useful for exploring the vSphere API.
- Multiple Connections
RVC can connect to more than one ESX or VC server at the same time. Simply add more hosts to the command line, or use the command “connect”. Each connection is represented by a top-level node in the virtual filesystem. If more than one host is given on the command line, RVC will start in the root of the filesystem instead of automatically cd’ing to a connection.
RVC is designed to let users easily add commands they need. You can create a command module, or add to an existing one, by adding a Ruby file to ~/.rvc or any directory on the RVC_MODULE_PATH environment variable. The syntax of a user command module is the same as those built-in to RVC, so see the “lib/rvc/modules” directory for examples.
If you create a generically useful RVC command, please consider sending in a patch so everyone can use it.
Ruby 1.8.7+, preferred version is 1.9.2.
gem install rvc
% rvc 192.168.1.105
0 dc (datacenter)
192.168.1.105:/> cd dc/host/192.168.1.100/
0 host [192.168.1.100] (host): cpu 2*2*2.81 GHz, memory 2.00 GB
1 resourcePool [Resources]: cpu 4.35/4.35/normal, mem
192.168.1.105:/dc/host/192.168.1.100/> ls host/vms/
0 foo: poweredOn
192.168.1.105:/dc/host/192.168.1.100/> i host/vms/foo
VC UUID: 5259d5d2-b767-43c9-db6d-fbf5cc4b6f02
memory: 128 MB
Network adapter 1: "VM Network" connected 00:0c:29:c6:5d:2a
192.168.1.105:/dc/host/192.168.1.100/> off host/vms/foo
PowerOffVM foo: success
Enter "help" to see a list of all available commands.
All RVC commands exist in modules, and may optionally have aliases. For example, the command to power off a VM is actually "vm.off", since it exists in the "vm" module, but since it is a common operation it has been aliased to "off".
Works in the Hypervisor group.