My new favorite toy is a box running ESXi.
ESXi is a strange beast. I’m used to using linux based host OS’s so the limitations of ESXi are a little frustrating. No direct access to physical drives, no direct access to USB devices, ESXi only knows how to read its own proprietary files system vmfs.
For all the headache, its much faster than a linux host and has a ton of configuration options via the vSphere client software.
The no cli thing bugs me a lot. The only supported way to interact with esxi is via the vSphere client software.
It does include sshd, but its off by default.
There are lots of articles on how to enable this mode.
Once you’ve got SSH access, you’ll quickly discover that most of the commands your used to in linux are missing.
Including perl, rsync, etc…
Since there are no dev tools, no gcc, or glib headers for this kernel, you can’t compile software directly on the host either.
Ah, but if you can build it into a static binary, it will run!
I’ve found an rsync binary and a php binary.
Installing these opens doors for writing useful scripts with esxi.
Login as root, plop these into your /bin/ directory and make them executable with a chmod a+x and your good to go.
Not quite that easy. The binaries work, just /bin doesn’t persist between reboots. You’ll need to place your utilities in a persistent storage location to keep them around.