RbVmomi is a Ruby interface to the vSphere API. Like the Perl and Java SDKs, you can use it to manage ESX and VirtualCenter servers. The current release supports the vSphere 4.1 API. RbVmomi specific documentation is online and is meant to be used alongside the official documentation.


gem install rbvmomi


A simple example of turning on a VM:

require 'rbvmomi'
vim = RbVmomi::VIM.connect host: 'foo', user: 'bar', password: 'baz'
dc = vim.serviceInstance.find_datacenter("mydatacenter") or fail "datacenter not found"
vm = dc.find_vm("myvm") or fail "VM not found"

This code uses several RbVmomi extensions to the VI API for concision. The expanded snippet below uses only standard API calls and should be familiar to users of the Java SDK:

require 'rbvmomi'
vim = RbVmomi::VIM.connect host: 'foo', user: 'bar', password: 'baz'
rootFolder = vim.serviceInstance.content.rootFolder
dc = rootFolder.childEntity.grep(RbVmomi::VIM::Datacenter).find { |x| x.name == "mydatacenter" } or fail "datacenter not found"
vm = dc.vmFolder.childEntity.grep(RbVmomi::VIM::VirtualMachine).find { |x| x.name == "myvm" } or fail "VM not found"
task = vm.PowerOnVM_Task
filter = vim.propertyCollector.CreateFilter(
  spec: {
    propSet: [{ type: 'Task', all: false, pathSet: ['info.state']}],
    objectSet: [{ obj: task }]
  partialUpdates: false
ver = ''
while true
  result = vim.propertyCollector.WaitForUpdates(version: ver)
  ver = result.version
  break if ['success', 'error'].member? task.info.state
raise task.info.error if task.info.state == 'error'

As you can see, the extensions RbVmomi adds can dramatically decrease the code needed to perform simple tasks while still letting you use the full power of the API when necessary. RbVmomi extensions are often more efficient than a naive implementation; for example, the find_vm method on VIM::Datacenter used in the first example uses the SearchIndex for fast lookups.

A few important points:

  • All class, method, parameter, and property names match the official documentation.

  • Properties are exposed as accessor methods.

  • Data object types can usually be inferred from context, so you may use a hash instead.

  • Enumeration values are simply strings.

  • Example code is included in the examples/ directory.

  • A set of helper methods for Trollop is included to speed up development of command line apps. See the included examples for usage.

  • This is a side project of a VMware employee and is entirely unsupported by VMware.

Built-in extensions are under lib/rbvmomi/vim/. You are encouraged to reopen VIM classes in your applications and add extensions of your own. If you write something generally useful please send it to me and I’ll add it in.


Send patches to [email protected].