Howto run the vClient on Mac OS X (or Linux)

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It’s now common knowledge the vSphere Web Client is the main and preferred client VMware want us to use. Apart the resistance of users to adopt new tools, there are also two clear situations where you still need the Windows Client: the configuration of an ESXi server not connected to vCenter, and Update Manager.

In order to use vClient on a non-windows system, both a Mac as me or Linux, the most used solution is to have a Windows VM with the vclient installed on it, and to power it up when needed. With the new SSD disks the VM power up is much easier than in the past, but still it requires 30-40 seconds everytime from the moment we decided we need to use the vClient, and the moment we can effectively use it.

So, I was interested by this tweet from Bas Raayman:


I never used CrossOver in the past, so I decided it was time to give it a try. First of all I downloaded and installed it on my Mac OS X 10.8. Then, I created a new enviroment to simulate a Windows XP:


Inside of it, I installed .Net 3.5 SP1. Crossover in fact has a library preloaded with many softwares’ links, already tested and certified, and you only need to select them in order to install them, and the program also download them by itself from Microsoft or other vendors (when possible, obviously):

Crossover .NET installation

With the same procedure I installed Internet Explorer 7, and finally the vSphere Client. The installation is really easy: in CrossOver you select “Configure -> Install Software…”, in this menu you choose “Other Application”, select from the file system the vClient installer binary, and you answer to all the wizard’s steps like you would do in an interactive installation in Windows:

Crossover vClient Installation

Once the installation is completed, you can start vClient and connect to your vCenter, and here it is the software running on my MacBook!

vClient on Mac

Be aware, the programs does not run perfectly, and most of all you cannot use the VM console. But for many tasks is more than enough 🙂