Despite the fact that installing the VMware vSphere client on a Domain Controller is not best practice, there are practical applications. Some IT admins that work with remote offices may have standalone ESXI hosts at those office that may not be managed by a vCenter server. Another scenario is that a DR site may have a separate vCenter server/cluster, where the host may only have a DC and a backup/replication server(s) running at any given time. In vSphere 5.5 VMware disabled the ability to install the vSphere client on Domain Controllers (see the error message below), however there is a method to get around this.
- Download the vSphere client on your DC
- open an elevated command prompt window
- cd to the directory containing the installer (ex: C:UsersAdministratorDownloads
- run the following command VMware-viclient-all-5.5.0-1618071.exe /VSKIP_OS_CHECKS=”1″ (note the name of your installer may vary based on the version/build you are installing)
- Go get yourself a cup of coffee and wait for vSphere to install (depending on the speed of your server and storage this can take up to 10 minutes).