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How to register/add a VM to the Inventory in vCenter Server (1006160)

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This article provides steps to register or add a virtual machine to the Inventory in vCenter Server/VirtualCenter or in an ESX/ESXi host.


You can register a virtual machine to the Inventory in vCenter Server/VirtualCenter or in an ESX/ESXi from a command line.
To register a virtual machine in vCenter Server:
  1. Open the vSphere/VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client and log in with appropriate credentials.
  2. If connecting to vCenter Server, click on the desired host.
  3. Click the Configuration tab.
  4. Click Storage.
  5. Right-click on the appropriate datastore and click Browse Datastore.
  6. Navigate to the folder named after the virtual machine, and locate the virtual machine.vmx file.
  7. Right-click the .vmx file and click Add to inventory. The Add to Inventory wizard opens.
  8. Continue to follow the wizard to add the virtual machine.
To register a virtual machine from a command line in an ESX host:
  1. Log in as root to the ESX host with an SSH client.
  2. Run the command:

    # vmware-cmd-s register full_path_to_virtual_machine\virtual_machine_name.vmx

To register a virtual machine from a command line in an ESXi host:

  1. Log in as root to the ESXi host with an SSH client. For information on using Tech Support mode, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1017910).
  2. Run the command:

    # vim-cmd solo/registervm /vmfs/volumes/datastore_name/VM_directory/VM_name.vmx

Additional Information

When registering a virtual machine, remember:

  • A virtual machine should be registered on one ESX host at a time.
  • If an ESX host is being managed by vCenter Server, perform any virtual machine registration through vCenter Server.

    Note: Bypassing vCenter Server to register a virtual machine may cause a mismatch between the host and the vCenter Server Inventory and may cause unexpected results.

  • If you have an issue adding the virtual machine to Inventory, verify the virtual machine's file integrity. For more information, see Verifying ESX/ESXi virtual machine file integrity (1003743).


register-vm-command-line adding-vm-vcenter-inventory missing-vm , add vm to inventory

See Also

Update History

07/11/2012 - Updated for 5.x 01/08/2012 -Updated for 5.1 03/12/2015 - Added ESXi 6.0 to Products. 03/12/2015 - Added vCenter Server 6.0 to Products.

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 121 Ratings