For Windows VMs, those running VMware Tools upload that info as a part of the software inventory process, so it's straightforward to identify and report on which Windows VMs are managed in the K1000 inventory, and the unique versions of VMware Tools used for each.  But for non-Windows platforms, VMware Tools do not register in the operating system's software packages database (for example: Linux rpm or dpkg), so those operating systems don't report that software as being installed to the K1000.

So how can you identify which non-Windows VMs in your vSphere environment have VMware Tools installed?  And what versions? A Custom Inventory Rule can collect this information. VMware Tools includes the executable vmware-toolbox-cmd that can be used in the CI. The approach to this can vary based on the desired specificity:

1. Simple. Track all versions of VMware Tools on non-Windows platforms together as one software inventory item.

  • Create a new Software Inventory item with the Display Name: VMware Tools. Leave the Version field blank.
  • Specify the Supported Operating Systems (as always).
  • Add this Custom Inventory Rule: ShellCommandTextReturn(/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v)

Now any targeted operating system returning a value will include this new software item in its list of Installed Programs.

 

2. Identify Major/Minor versions only. VMware Tools with differences in build numbers cannot be distinguished.
Determine the exact VMware Tools version you want to track.

  • Create a new Software Inventory item with the Display Name: VMware Tools. Enter the major/minor version of VMware Tools. In this example, enter: 8.6.
  • Specify the Supported Operating Systems (as always).
  • Add this Custom Inventory Rule: ShellCommandTextReturn(/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v | grep 8.6)

Targeted operating systems returning a version beginning with 8.6 will show this software in its list of Installed Programs.


3. Specific. Track each version of VMware Tools separately.

  • Determine the exact VMware Tools version you want to track.
  • Create a new Software Inventory item with the Display Name: VMware Tools. Enter the exact version. In this example, enter: 8.6.5.11852.
  • Specify the Supported Operating Systems (as always).
  • Add this Custom Inventory Rule: ShellCommandTextReturn(/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd -v | grep 8.6.5.11832)

Only targeted operating systems returning this exact version will show this software in its list of Installed Programs.

Now you have software items that can be used like any other in Reports, Smart Labels, etc.