Installing Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on VMWare ESXi 5.5

Installing Dell OMSA on a ESXi server allows you to see more detailed information regarding the Dell hardware. It also allows you to perform operations such as specifying hot spares and rebuilding RAID arrays. After you install OMSA on the ESXi server you can install the OMSA web-based GUI on another Windows PC or Server in order to access OMSA.

The steps below will get OMSA up and running on VMWare ESXi 5.5. Be sure to download the version of the OMSA Offline Installation Bundle that corresponds to your version of ESXi.

Download the OMSA Offline Bundle from the Dell Website.

Enable SSH on the ESXi Server

  • Open and log-in to VMWare vShpere Client.
  • Select the server node in the tree view on the left.
  • Click the Configuration tab along the top.
  • Click the Properties link to the right of Services.
vSphere Client Security Profile Page
vSphere Client Security Profile Page
  • Select SSH in the list and click Options.
  • Select “Start and stop with host”
  • Under Service Commands click Start.
  • Click OK.
vSphere SSH Options
vSphere SSH Options

Transfer the OMSA Offline Bundle to the Server

Since SSH is enabled the easiest way to transfer the file “” to the server is with a SFTP client. I typically use WinSCP on Windows, Transmit on a Mac, or the command line SCP client on Linux systems. I’ll show you how to use WinSCP below:

  • Open WinSCP.
  • Click New to create a new connection.
  • Enter the host name of the ESXi server, user name and password. (User name is root by default).
WinSCP Login Screen
WinSCP Login Screen
  • Click Login.
  • If this is your first time connecting to this host you’ll see a warning screen about the server’s host key. You can click Yes to continue.
  • Once connected you’ll see an explorer type view with your local files on the left and the server’s file system on the right.
  • You want to navigate to the /tmp/ folder.
ESXi /tmp/ Directory
ESXi /tmp/ Directory
  • Double click tmp to enter the directory.
  • In the left pane browse to where you downloaded “”
  • Once located, drag the file to the right pane. When the Copy dialog comes up click Copy.
OMSA In tmp Directory
OMSA In tmp Directory

Install the Offline Bundle

Its now time to install the bundle. To do this  you’ll need a SSH client. I use Putty on Windows and the command line SSH client on Mac and Linux. I’ll show you how to use Putty below.

  • Open Putty.
  • Enter the ESXi server host name and click Open.
Putty Configuration
Putty Configuration
  • Again if this is your first time connecting to this host you’ll see a Putty Security Alert dialog box. Click Yes to continue.
  • Enter the user name (root).
  • Enter the password.
  • At the command line type “esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/
  • Make sure to match the file name of the file you actually downloaded since version numbers will change frequently. You can use tab-auto-complete to type in the first few letters such as OM- and then press tab to complete the file name.
  • Press enter.
  • Reboot the server to complete the installation. If you don’t have any running hosts you’ll be able to restart without being in maintenance mode. If you do have running hosts you’ll need to shut them down and then put the ESXi server into maintenance mode.

Installing OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node

  • Download the installer for Dell OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node (Windows),v7.3 to a Windows PC.
  • Run and install the application.
  • The installer will complain about it not being installed on Dell software but you can proceed with the server installation only.
  • Dell OMSA is web-based, relying on a Java back-end so when you double click the icon on your desktop it will open your default browser.
  • Enter the ESXi host, user name and password. Check the box to Ingore certificate warnings.
OMSA Login
OMSA Login
  • This should allow you to use OpenManage similarly to how you would on a bare-metal install of Windows Server on a Dell system.



Yanick Gosselin


Great article!

I have a problem logging in the ESXi host. I enter the right IP/user/pwd but it seems to loop back at the login screen.. The VIM is installed correctly… as per esxcli software vib list command…


Are you having an issue logging into the vSphere client or OpenManage?


Thanks for your instructions. I was able to use the managed node client successfully at first but after a few hours the managed node is unable to connect and produces a “connection failure” message. This seems to be a common problem but I haven’t found a reasonable solution other then uninstall and reinstall the VIB. Any suggestions?


Did you make sure to check the box to Ignore Certification Warnings on the openmanage login screen. If you don’t have a trusted SSL cert for ESXi you’ll need to check that box.


Yanick, I am having the same issue. If I put in the correct info it loops back to the login screen. If I put in the wrong info (ip/user/pass) it gives me an error, as expected.


Thank you!

New to VMWare CLI and this was exactly what I needed.

Thank you again.

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