Installing Dell OpenManage on ESXi 4.1

I know this topic has been written about in the past, but I figured this would be a good topic for my first technical post.  Just yesterday I had to remind myself how to install Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on a VMware ESXi 4.1 host server.  Since ESXi does not include the Service Console (such old news isn’t this?!) there is no ability to install the OMSA client on the host.  Instead, one simply installs the OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB on the host, enables the CIM providers and then connects to the host using a locally installed OMSA client.  Dell’s documentation can be found here:

Here are the quick and dirty steps using the vSphere CLI.

1.  Download and install the latest version of vSphere CLI:  (Requires a MyVMware account.)

2.  Download the latest Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi from  So far the latest I’ve found for ESXi 4.1 is

3.  Shut down all VMs on the host and place the host in maintenance mode.

4.  Navigate to the working directory of the vSphere CLI.  C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin.

5.  Install the OpenManage Bundle to the ESXi host server using the following syntax: –server <IP address of ESXi host> -i -b <path to Dell OpenManage file>

6.  Restart the ESXi host server after confirmation of successful installation.

Not quite done yet… In order for the newly installed Server Administrator Web Server to communicate with the CIM providers, these providers must be enabled.  To do this through the vSphere Client, follow these next steps:

1.  Logon to the ESXi host using the vSphere Client.

2.  Go to the Configuration tab of the respective host.

3.  Under the Software section, click on Advanced Settings.

4.  In the Advanced Settings, find UserVars.  Then change the value of CIMOEMProviderEnabled field to 1.  Click OKNote: The Dell documentation points out the wrong variable to change.  This should be CIMOEMProviderEnabled (singular).

5.  Execute the Restart Management Agents on the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) of the ESXi host.  This will hopefully allow the CIM providers to be enabled without rebooting the host.  If it does not, a reboot will have to be initiated.

Bonus:  The above setting can also be modifed using the vSphere CLI.  Use the following command: –server <ip_address of ESXi host> –username <user_name> –password <password> –set 1 UserVars.CIMOEMProviderEnabled

In order to pull up OpenManage, the OMSA client must be installed on a local desktop or server.

1.  From, download and install the latest OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node for your version of OS.

2.  Type the Hostname/IP Address, Username and Password for the selected host server.  Be sure to check the “Ignore certificate warnings” checkbox.

That’s it!  A little more involved than the old way of installing the Server Administrator on the old ESX servers with the Service Console.  This still allows for full functionality with the smaller footprint afforded by ESXi.


2 thoughts on “Installing Dell OpenManage on ESXi 4.1

  1. Is there any chance you have a copy of the OMSA 4.1 software? I have a legacy server that really needs it but it appears to be largely unavailable on the Dell website.

    Thank you in advance for any information!

    • Sorry Pat. I wish I could help you, but I have long since had a copy of that version of the software. Perhaps contact Dell support to see if they might be able to point you in the right direction.

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