How to Backup and Restore the VMware ESXi 6.x Configuration

Backup Configuration
  • Connect via SSH to your running ESXi Host
  • Run to backup config from host
    vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/backup_config

  • Config saved under /scratch/downloads
  • Copy config to a safe location
Restore Configuration
  • Run enter maintenance mode
    vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
  • Run to restore config
    vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/restore_config /tmp/configBundle.tgz

Restore Configuration on a blank machine
  • Install Host
    • Install the new host with the same ESXi Version and Build
    • Follow the installation assistent
    • Reboot machine
  • ISO
    • Create a ISO with your backuped configBundle.tgz
    • Burn ISO or Load ISO as Virtual Drive in your LOM
  • ESXi Shell
    • From the Direct Console User Interface, press F2 and Login to access the System Customization menu.
    • Click Troubleshooting Options.
    • Select Enable ESXi Shell and press Return to Enabled.
    • Press Alt+F1 to open the ESXi Shell
  • Mount CD-ROM
    • Load the iso9660 module with
      vmkload_mod iso9660

    • Find the Path to the CD-ROM with
      esxcfg-mpath -l | grep -i cd-rom

    • Set the loaded module to the CD-ROM
      vsish -e set /vmkModules/iso9660/mount <mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0>
    • Now you can see the CD-ROM in the “ls /vmfs/volumes/”
  • Restore config
    • Copy config from mounted CD-ROM Drive to tmp
      cp /vmfs/volumes/<CDROM ISO9660 NAME>/CONFIGBU.TGZ /tmp/configBundle.tgz
    • Run to enter maintenance mode
      vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
    • Run to restore config
      vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/restore_config /tmp/configBundle.tgz