Howto Install Additional Software in VCSA 5

The vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) becomes an alternative to the Windows-based vCenter more and more. There are several reasons to install additional software in the VCSA. When you want to implement additional services like DNS for your lab, or you want to monitor the Appliance via Nagios or SNMP, you need additional packages. The Appliance is based on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, so you can use YaST to install packages. In this post I am going to show how to configure the vCenter Server Appliance to enable the installation of additional packages.

This is for educational purposes only. Installing software in VCSA is not officially supported by VMware and might cause issues.

Check SuSE Version

Check the SuSE Version to make sure to install appropriate packages

vcsa:~ # cat /etc/SuSE-release
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86_64)

In this example, the version is 11.2 (Taken from vCenter Server Appliance 5.5)

Add SuSE Repository

Add the repository for the appropriate version[VERSION]/repo/oss/

vcsa:~ # zypper addrepo -f opensuse

Verify the repository

vcsa:~ # zypper repos -d

Download package metadata

vcsa:~ # zypper refresh

Press a to trust the Key

Do you want to reject the key, trust temporarily, or trust always? [r/t/a/?] (r): a


Find and Install packages

I am going to install nmap (a command line based portscanner) in this example

Use the zypper search command to find packages

vcsa:~ # zypper search nmap

Install nmap

vcsa:~ # zypper install nmap


YaST Control Center

You can also use the YaST2 Control Center to install and manage packages:

vcsa:~ # YaST


  1. Howto use vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) as DNS Server | - pingback on December 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm
  2. Perfect! Thank you, I've been *dying* without nano on my vCSA over SSH, can't stand VI. THANK YOU!!!! :)

  3. My 6.5 vCSA does not have /etc/SuSE-release, but it does have /etc/os-release, which shows:

    NAME="VMware Photon"
    PRETTY_NAME="VMware Photon/Linux"

    I'm guessing this post doesn't apply to my vCSA version?

    • Yes. The vSphere 6.5 vCSA is PhotonOS based, which is a completely new operating system. This post is related to the SUSE-based vCSA 5 which is outdated.

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