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Use “esxcli software vib” commands in ESXi hosts

Recently I was asked how to list out all the VIB/drivers installed on an ESXi 7.0 host. This can be easily done with the “esxcli software vib” command.

But first, you may ask “what is a VIB?”

It’s one of VMware’s many TLA’s (three-letter-acronyms) that stands for vSphere Installation Bundle. Think of it like a collection of files, all put together like a .ZIP file.

Here’s a great blog covering what a VIB is, and what it’s made of: What’s in a VIB? – VMware vSphere Blog

And, to add more value to this post, I will state there’s a lot that can be done with this command…so much so, here’s a link to a KB with additional references and commands when using “esxcli software vib” on ESXi v7.x hosts: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/78356

Back to the question I was working on above…testing this in my lab, let’s just take a look at all the VIBs on one if my ESXi hosts:

SSH to the host as root, then type in “esxcli software vib list“:

So there’s a lot there…and I can keep on scrolling. This is helpful, but I think I want to narrow down the search a little.

Let’s try a grep and search for network drivers:

If I run “esxcli software vib list | grep net“, this will list anything with “net” in the description:

Now, let’s say I wanted to export this as a list to give to my systems or network team to show some compatibility or version?

Simply append “> [filename].csv” like this:

esxcli software vib list | grep net > viblist.csv

And you’ll see an output file created in the root dir called “viblist.csv” (WinSCP):

Open up the CSV file and you’ll see the output:

As I stated above, there’s a lot that can be done with this command, and I’m just barely scratching the surface with this one. But I know this basic command has helped out many Sysadmins begin to look into VIB questions or troubleshoot issues.

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