The RVTools use the VI SDK to display information virtual machines on VMware ESX hosts and update the VMware tools installed in virtual machines.

Anybody who has ever spent some time working with VSphere, has probably found themselves at one point or another scouring the internet for an easy way to inventory their VShpere environments. I'm sure many of you might have taken the time to throw together some really sweet PowerShell scripts that can do some amazing things, but sometimes when traveling from site to site that just isn't practical.

That is where RVTools comes in to lend a helping hand. RVTools comes packaged in a no hassles MSI. It is a NET 2.0 application, so it should run on most systems without a hitch. Utilizing VI SDK, you can pull very detailed inventories of your environments by simply connecting to your VCenter server or your ESXi/ESX hosts. The latest version 3.4 now supports ESX Server 3.5, ESX 4.0, ESX 4.1, ESX 5, ESX Server 3i, ESX Server 4i, VirtualCenter 2.5, VirtualCenter 4.0, VirtualCenter 4.1, VirtualCenter 5.0, and VirtualCenter Appliance. So no matter what flavors you have running RVTools has you covered.

RVTools - Enter credentials

RVTools - Enter credentials

Once installed, launch the application and enter your credentials and server information, and then it will automatically run an inventory of all your hosts and VMs.

RVTools - Display information of virtual machines

RVTools - Display information of virtual machines

When complete, you will be able to jump from tab to tab to view inventories of your CPUs, Disks, Memory, Partitions, Floppy Drives, Newtorks, CD Drives, VMware Tools, Snapshots, HBA’s, Nics, Ports, Switches, Distributed Switches, Distributed Ports, Service Consoles, VMKernels, and Datastores. You can pan through and find any inconsistencies in your environment that could potentially cause or are already causing adverse effects.

RVTools - Display information of ESX host

RVTools - Display information of ESX host

Often times two of the most common issues you will find in a VMware environment are the absence of VMware Tools on the Guest OS and VM Snapshot proliferation. Not having the VMware Tools installed on VMs can lead to some big issues down the road. The VMware Tools contain the Guest OS drivers, VmMemCtl - memory management driver (Balloon mechanism), and Heartbeat to vCenter. All are very vital if you plan on utilizing the great capabilities that virtualization brings to the table.

The RVTools will not only let you inventory which VMs have the VMware Tools installed, but it will also let you deploy the tools right from the console. Maybe you have a VMware Tools version mis-match. The RVTools allow you to deploy the latest version with a few clicks you can.

VM Snapshots can also cause you some headaches. Being able to take snapshots of your VMs is an awesome capability that VMware has made possible. I don’t know how many times I had to rebuild servers or workstations while developing new applications for some of my customer’s pre VM Snapshots.

The downside of VM Snapshots is that they build up over time and consume valuable disk space and disk I/O. So I constantly monitor my environments for old and unnecessary VM Snapshots using RVTools. Within a matter of minutes I can track them down and compile reports to send out to the responsible applications departments.

RVTools - Export information

RVTools - Export information

RVTools also gives you the capability to export your results into an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file that will allow you to further parse and manipulate the data into a custom report of your liking.

Developer Rob de Veij has been hard at work continually updating this application, and with every release he seems to keep adding more great features. RVTools now has more than 150,000 downloads and is hands down in my opinion the best free tool out there for VSphere. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.


  1. Amit 10 years ago

    I have 4 vcenter in my environment. RVTool has been excellent in ESX inventory till date. Currently I have a requirement to extract output from RVTool and save it on remote location for DR purpose. Since the number of vcenter is high, this becomes a manual process and prone to engineer not doing this work.
    Is there a way that I can script it and schedule the task so that RVTool extract the output and save the output in the central share?
    Automating the extraction process will be of great value.

  2. It’s a old questions but I think can be helpful for someone interested to run rvtools by command.

    Here the command syntax to start RVtools and export all to XLSX file:

    RVTools -s virtualserver -u Administrator-p passw0rd -c ExportAll2xlsx -d directory – f filename.xlsx

  3. vinothkumar 5 years ago

    I have a doubt that the RV Tools can able to generate IDLE VMS in ESXI clusters.

    Like The vms are not used for long time( login, No Application running )

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