Deploy a VCH to an ESXi Host with No vCenter Server

This topic provides instructions for deploying a virtual container host (VCH) to an ESXi host that is not managed by vCenter Server. This is the most straightforward way to deploy a VCH, and is ideal for testing.



  1. Open a terminal on the system on which you downloaded and unpacked the vSphere Integrated Containers Engine binary bundle.
  2. Navigate to the directory that contains the vic-machine utility:
  3. Run the vic-machine create command.

    Wrap any option arguments that include spaces or special characters in quotes. Use single quotes if you are using vic-machine on a Linux or Mac OS system and double quotes on a Windows system. In these examples, the password is wrapped in quotes because it contains @.

    • Linux OS:
      $ vic-machine-linux create
      --target esxi_host_address
      --user root
      --password 'esxi_host_p@ssword'
    • Windows:
      $ vic-machine-windows create
      --target esxi_host_address
      --user root
      --password "esxi_host_p@ssword"
    • Mac OS:
      $ vic-machine-darwin create
      --target esxi_host_address
      --user root
      --password 'esxi_host_p@ssword'

The vic-machine create command in this example specifies the minimum information required to deploy a VCH to an ESXi host:

  • The address of the ESXi host on which to deploy the VCH, in the --target option.
  • The ESXi host root user and password in the --user and --password options.
  • Disables the verification of clients that connect to this VCH by specifying the --no-tlsverify option.
  • Disables the verification of the ESXi host certificate by specifying the --force option.

Because the ESXi host only has only one datastore and uses the VM Network network, vic-machine create automatically detects and uses those resources.

When deploying to an ESXi host, vic-machine create creates a standard virtual switch and a port group for use as the container bridge network, so you do not need to specify any network options if you do not have specific network requirements.

This example deploys a VCH with the default name virtual-container-host.


At the end of a successful installation, vic-machine displays information about the new VCH:

Initialization of appliance successful
VCH Admin Portal:
Published ports can be reached at:
Docker environment variables:
Environment saved in virtual-container-host/virtual-container-host.env
Connect to docker:
docker -H vch_address:2376 --tls info
Installer completed successfully

What to Do Next

To test your VCH, see Verify the Deployment of a VCH.

For examples of commands to deploy a VCH in various other vSphere configurations, see Advanced Examples of Deploying a VCH.