Deploy Virtual Container Hosts Interactively

The vSphere Integrated Containers appliance provides an interactive web installer from which you can deploy a basic virtual container host (VCH).

This VCH has limited cabilities and is for demonstration purposes only, to allow you to start experimenting with vSphere Integrated Containers. For a description of the role and function of VCHs, see vSphere Integrated Containers Engine Concepts in Overview of vSphere Integrated Containers.

IMPORTANT: The demo VCH has the minimum configuration that deployment to vCenter Server requires. Only the bridge network, public network, image store, and compute resource options are currently supported. As a consequence, the demo VCH has the following limitations:

  • It does not implement any TLS authentication options, and as such is completely unsecured. Do not use the demo VCH in production environments.
  • It only supports DHCP. You cannot assign a static IP address to the VCH on any of its interfaces.
  • It has no option create a volume store. Any containers that create volumes will fail to start if you run them in the demo VCH.

To deploy VCHs for use in production environments, use the vic-machine command line utility.


NOTE: When using vic-machine to deploy VCHs, if you do not specify a network or port group for the public network, the VCH uses the VM Network by default. However, because the VM Network might not be present, the demo VCH requires that you create a port group for the public network.


  1. In a Web browser, go to http://vic_appliance_address, scroll down to Infrastructure Deployment Tools, click the link Go to the Demo VCH Installer Wizard, and trust the certificate.
  2. Enter the IP address and administrator credentials of the vCenter Server instance on which the vSphere Integrated Containers appliance is running and click Login.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to select the appropriate resources for each of the required resources.

    Option Description
    Bridge Network Select an existing distributed port group for container VMs use to communicate with each other.
    Public Network Select a different distributed port group for container VMs use to connect to the internet.
    Image Store Select a datastore in which to store container images that you pull into the VCH.
    Compute Resource Select the host, cluster, or resource pool in which to deploy the VCH.
  4. (Optional) Modify the name of the VCH to create.

  5. Enter the vCenter Server certificate thumbprint into the Thumbprint text box and click Execute.

    If you leave Thumbprint empty, the deployment of the VCH fails, and the certificate thumbprint of the target vCenter Server appears under Execution Output. Verify that the thumbprint is valid. If it is valid, copy and paste the thumprint in Thumbprint and click Execute again.

You can monitor the progress of the VCH deployment under Execution Output. Stay on the Installer page until the command finishes. Logs might stop streaming if you switch to other tabs or windows.


At the end of a successful deployment, Execution Output displays information about the new VCH.

What to Do Next

  • Connect a Docker client to the VCH and run Docker commands against it. For information about running Docker commands against a VCH, see Verify the Deployment of a VCH.
  • Copy the generated command output under Create Command and use it as a template for use with vic-machine to create production VCHs. For information about how to deploy production VCHs, see Using vic-machine to Deploy Virtual Container Hosts.
  • Go to http://vic_appliance_address, click the link to Go to the vSphere Integrated Containers Management Portal, enter the vCenter Server Single Sign-On credentials, and go to Home > Infrastructure > Container Hosts. After creating a VCH, the web installer adds the VCH to the project default-project in the management portal instance that is running in the vSphere Integrated Containers appliance.

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