Category Archives: Virtualization

How to copy a VM host to host without vCenter

I would like to show you how you can copy (using SCP) a virtual machine from one ESXi host to another ESXi host without using a vCenter.


Login to both ESXi hosts that you are copying from and copying to and make sure SSH is enabled by following the setups below.

Check under Configuration Tab of the host > Security Profile > Services > Click Properties and check SSH is running if not start

ssh enabled

If SSH is Stopped, click Options

Select “Start and stop manually” and hit Start.

Under Firewall check SSH Server Client is checked.

Firewall Property

Make sure this is done on both the host.

Now you can ssh into the esxi host 1 that has the VM that needs to be transferred. Lets give that host ip and the Host 2 that’s going to receive the file will be

You can SSH into the host 1 using putty(win) or terminal (mac)

#ssh root@
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
 RSA key fingerprint is b2:d6:00:34:aa:cc:62:95:8f:d7:f3:1d:59:1e:c3:54.
 Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes                         <------ Say yes

then it will prompt for Password: so enter that.

Do a ping test from host 1 to host 2

 ~ # ping

If it’s pinging that it looks good. I am not sure but In some cases the ping might be blocked.

Start transfering folder

 nohup scp -rv /vmfs/volumes/data-store1/vm-folder-name root@


For Multiple VMs (Folders)

First change directory to the Datastore folder

cd /vmfs/volumes/data-store1/

Then it’s better to enter multiple VMs leave just a single space between the VM folder name. No quotes or commas.

nohup scp -rv vm-folder-1 vm-folder-2 root@

Now you will be prompted for “host 2” password. enter that and the file transfer will start. The flags used here are -rv, where r is for folder tranfer and v for verbos to watch the progress.

Note: I added nohup before scp, this will allow the command to run in background even if you close Terminal/Putty window.

How to give simple user permission in VMWare

  1. Login to ESXi host directly (Not vCenter)
  2. Go to Home > Administration > Roles
  3. Click on Add Role button.
  4. Give a Name and Check the appropriate Privilege. We usually check the following
  5. Go to Home > Inventory > Inventory > Local Users & Groups
  6. Right click in the white space and click Add.
  7. Enter a username and password and hit ok.
  8. Go to Permissions and right-click and Add Permission…
  9. Click Add… button under Users and Groups.
  10. Select user (student) and click Add again and hit ok.
  11. From Assigned Role drop-down menu select student and ok.
  12. In some cases you will need to hide certain VMs from the student for example the jumpbox or the admin VM because if they power it off accidentally they will kick them self out. So follow the steps below. Select the VM that you need to hide and go to Permissions tabs.
  13. Double click on the user in this case student and select No access and hit ok.

When you now login to vSphere with your student username and password you will not be able to see the admin vm/jumpbox and you will only have limitted access.