Did you know VMware PhotonOS can also run on a Raspberry Pi (rPI) 3? I definitely did not until recently when I found out the latest 3.0 version also had an image for the rPI. This is great for anyone who is already familiar with PhotonOS and wish to run it in an even smaller form factor such as an rPI. There are definitely some interesting use cases for an rPI such as a tiny management host, troubleshooting tool for consultants or even a quick PowerShell/PowerCLI host that contains some basic tools and scripts which you can quickly access.
I was definitely interested in getting PowerShell and PowerCLI running on top PhotonOS on the rPI. Although you can already run PowerShell on an rPI using the Raspbian OS, the current distribution from Microsoft is actually only 32-Bit, which is a problem for PhotonOS as it is a 64-Bit OS. I was about to give up but while browsing the Microsoft PowerShell repo, I came across their upcoming PowerShell 6.2.0 (Preview) release which now looks to include a 64-Bit ARM build, which is exactly what I needed. For PowerCLI, although I was able to get the modules loaded, I was not able to connect to a vCenter Server or ESXi endpoint, you can find more details at the bottom of this post.
Below are the instructions for installing PhotonOS on the rPI and getting PowerShell setup:
Step 1 - Download and install the Etcher tool which will be used to flash our rPI
Step 2 - Download and install PhotonOS 3.0 RC rPI image using Etcher
tdnf -y update
tdnf -y install tar icu libunwind unzip wget
Step 4 - Download PowerShell for ARM 64-Bit and latest PowerCLI 11.1 release:
Step 5 - Run the following commands to setup both PowerShell and PowerCLI:
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/powershell/Modules
tar -xvf ./powershell-6.2.0-preview.3-linux-arm64.tar.gz -C ~/powershell
unzip VMware-PowerCLI-11.1.0-11289667.zip -d ~/.local/share/powershell/Modules
Step 6 - To confirm PowerShell is working, run the following command:
Although the PowerCLI module is loaded, it looks like there is an issue when you try to connect to either a vCenter Server or ESXi host with "The SSL connection could not be established, see inner exception" error. I have already filed a Github issue here as well as an internal bug to see if the PowerCLI team can investigate. Hopefully it is something basic and we will have PowerCLI working soon. I will update this blog once I hear back.