Installing and VMware Perl SDK 6.7 on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial

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Published on - Listed in VMware Monitoring Icinga Linux Perl

As I'm preparing to put a new high-available Icinga 2 cluster into production, I was at the step to migrate the monitoring plugins. While most of the plugins are easily migrated, some depend on third party modules.

Today's headscratcher was the migration of "check_vmware_esx" because it relys on the VMware Perl SDK. I've already had my experiences and troubleshooting cases with that in the past so I knew what I will get into... For reference see:

Because I just spent several hours figuring out which versions work well together (new OS, newer Perl version and modules, new VMware SDK, new ESXi versions) follow the steps below to install the check_vmware_esx plugin on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial). Trust me, it will save you a lot of effort.

Install pre-requirements

Both the VMware Perl SDK and the check_vmware_esx plugin require some Perl modules. Install the following:

root@xenial:~# apt-get install libssl-dev libxml-libxml-simple-perl libsoap-lite-perl libdata-dump-perl libuuid-perl libdata-uuid-libuuid-perl libuuid-tiny-perl libarchive-zip-perl libcrypt-ssleay-perl libclass-methodmaker-perl libtime-duration-perl

Download the SDK

The VMware Perl SDK can be downloaded from here: If the link doesn't work anymore, use your favourite search engine to find it. As of this writing the newest available version is 6.7. I downloaded VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-6.7.0-8156551.x86_64.tar.gz.

Note: In the past (= a couple of years ago) it was not advised to use VMware Perl SDK above version 5.5. The SDK 6.0 was bloody slow and even the plugin maintainer, Martin Fuerstenau, called it "pretty little thing of bull..t.". This does not apply anymore as 6.7 seems to be working rather fast.

Unpack and install the SDK

Note: The SDK needs to be installed as root (or use sudo).

root@xenial:~# tar -xzf VMware-vSphere-Perl-SDK-6.7.0-8156551.x86_64.tar.gz
root@xenial:~# cd vmware-vsphere-cli-distrib/

Now launch the installation of the Perl SDK. Note: This can take quite some time, especially the CPAN installations. Grab a coffee...

root@xenial:~/vmware-vsphere-cli-distrib# ./
Creating a new vSphere CLI installer database using the tar4 format.

Installing vSphere CLI 6.7.0 build-8156551 for Linux.

You must read and accept the vSphere CLI End User License Agreement to
Press enter to display it.


Do you accept? (yes/no) yes

Thank you.

warning: vSphere CLI requires Perldoc.
Please install perldoc.

WARNING: The http_proxy environment variable is not set. If your system is
using a proxy for Internet access, you must set the http_proxy environment
variable .

If your system has direct Internet access, you can ignore this warning .

WARNING: The ftp_proxy environment variable is not set.  If your system is
using a proxy for Internet access, you must set the ftp_proxy environment
variable .

If your system has direct Internet access, you can ignore this warning .

Please wait while configuring CPAN ...

Can't locate Module/ in @INC (you may need to install the Module::Build module) (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22.1 /usr/local/share/perl/5.22.1 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.22 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22 /usr/share/perl/5.22 /usr/local/lib/site_perl /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl-base .).
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted.
Below mentioned modules with their version needed to be installed,
these modules are available in your system but vCLI need specific
version to run properly

Module: ExtUtils::MakeMaker, Version: 6.96
Module: Module::Build, Version: 0.4205
Module: Net::FTP, Version: 2.77
Do you want to continue? (yes/no) yes

Please wait while configuring perl modules using CPAN ...
CPAN is downloading and installing pre-requisite Perl module "Path::Class" .
CPAN is downloading and installing pre-requisite Perl module "Socket6 " .
CPAN is downloading and installing pre-requisite Perl module "Text::Template" .
CPAN is downloading and installing pre-requisite Perl module "IO::Socket::INET6" .
CPAN is downloading and installing pre-requisite Perl module "Net::INET6Glue" .

In which directory do you want to install the executable files?
[/usr/bin]  [Enter]

Please wait while copying vSphere CLI files...

The installation of vSphere CLI 6.7.0 build-8156551 for Linux completed
successfully. You can decide to remove this software from your system at any
time by invoking the following command:

This installer has successfully installed both vSphere CLI and the vSphere SDK
for Perl.

The following Perl modules were found on the system but may be too old to work
with vSphere CLI:

Time::Piece 1.31 or newer
Try::Tiny 0.28 or newer
UUID 0.27 or newer
XML::NamespaceSupport 1.12 or newer
XML::LibXML::Common 2.0129 or newer
XML::LibXML 2.0129 or newer
LWP 6.26 or newer
LWP::Protocol::https 6.07 or newer


--the VMware team

Test the Perl SDK

You can launch the following command (which came from the SDK installation) to test if the SDK works:

root@xenial:~# /usr/lib/vmware-vcli/apps/general/ --server myesxhost
Enter username: root
Enter password:

Connection Successful
Server Time : 2018-07-20T13:17:48.861076Z

That looks good! Connection was successful!

Note: With an older SDK (I tested 5.5) an error message "Server version unavailable" appeared and no matter what I tried, I couldn't fix it this time.

The monitoring plugin

Let's proceed with the monitoring plugin! I suggest you are cloning the whole Github repository because the plugin alone is not enough.

root@xenial:~# cd /tmp
root@xenial:/tmp# git clone

Then copy the plugin to your other plugins and give it the correct permissions:

root@xenial:/tmp# cp /tmp/check_vmware_esx/ /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/
root@xenial:/tmp# chmod 755 /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/

The plugin comes with a few perl modules. They're required to let the plugin run correctly.
To keep them separate from the system perl modules, I created a dedicated folder copied them into it:

root@xenial:/tmp# mkdir -p /opt/check_vmware_esx/modules
root@xenial:/tmp# cp check_vmware_esx/modules/* /opt/check_vmware_esx/modules/

The plugin now needs to know where it can find its own modules. The default is just "modules":

root@xenial:/tmp# grep "use lib" /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/
use lib "modules";
#use lib "/usr/lib/nagios/vmware/modules";

So set the correct path (/opt/check_vmware_esx/modules):

root@xenial:/tmp# sed -i "/^use lib/s/modules/\/opt\/check_vmware_esx\/modules/" /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/

So it is now:

root@xenial:/tmp# grep "use lib" /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/
use lib "/opt/check_vmware_esx/modules";
#use lib "/usr/lib/nagios/vmware/modules";

Launch the plugin

Lean back and enjoy.

root@xenial:~# /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/ -H myesxhost -u root -p secret --select=runtime
OK: 0/21 VMs suspended - 1/21 VMs powered off - 20/21 VMs powered on - overallstatus=green - connection state=connected - All 125 health checks are GREEN: CPU (2x), power (14x), Processors (20x), voltage (32x), system (1x), System (1x), Platform Alert (1x), temperature (28x), other (25x), Memory (1x) - 0 config issues  - 0 config issues ignored

Icinga 2's ITL config

In order to immediately work with Icinga 2, the plugin needs either a rename to "/usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_vmware_esx" or we can create a symlink:

root@xenial:~# ln -s /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/ /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_vmware_esx

The reason for this is that Icinga2's ITL (Icinga Template Library) defines the commands "vmware-esx-*" to use the plugin check_esx_vmware (without the .pl extension):

root@xenial:~# grep check_vmware_esx /usr/share/icinga2/include/ -rni
/usr/share/icinga2/include/plugins-contrib.d/vmware.conf:25:    command = [ PluginContribDir + "/check_vmware_esx" ]

That's it. You're welcome.

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Comments (newest first)

Joseph Skup. from wrote on Jul 17th, 2019:

Wow! Can't thank you enough for this great help!

Thor Dreier from wrote on Apr 25th, 2019:

These two helped me:
apt-get remove --purge libwww-perl
apt-get install build-essential
(maybe it's only "make" you need)

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