Deploy a Virtual Container Host to an ESXi Host with No vCenter Server

This topic provides instruction for using vic-machine to deploy 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.

The ESXi host to which you deploy the VCH must match the specifications listed in the prerequisites. This example vic-machine create command deploys a VCH by using the minimum vic-machine create options possible, for demonstration purposes.



  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.

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

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.
  • For simplicity, disables the verification of client certificates by specifying the --no-tlsverify option.
  • Specifies the thumbprint of the ESXi host certificate by specifying the --thumbprint 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 vic-machine create command deploys a VCH with the default name virtual-container-host.


At the end of a successful deployment, 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.

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