Which Version of PowerCLI is Right For Me?

“I have PowerCLI 5.5 installed because I manage a vSphere 5.5 environment. I’ll update to PowerCLI 6.0 when I upgrade my vSphere environment to 6.0.”

Sound familiar? This is one of the most common things we hear during VMUGs, customer meetings, and around the community in general. This also happens to be a HUGE misconception. The current version is PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1 and it is compatible with all the supported vSphere versions!

Don’t take my word for it, check out the compatibility matrix:
PowerCLI Compatibility

As displayed in the compatibility matrix above, significant effort has been made to ensure backward compatibility while still being able to offer all of the latest and greatest updates and feature enhancements.

At this point you’re probably wondering what version of PowerCLI you’re using? Open up your PowerCLI window and have a look at the “Get-PowerCLIVersion” cmdlet:


PowerCLI is extremely backward compatible and we highly recommend upgrading to the latest version: PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1.

Take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Get-VM cmdlet optimizations
    Saying Get-VM is faster is just an understatement, some of the numbers we’ve received from the community are amazing!
  • Get-View cmdlet improvements
    Get-View now allows for tab completion of the -ViewType parameter
  • Added Content Library functionality
    The new Get-ContentLibraryItem cmdlet retrieves Content Library items as well as the ability to specify a Content Library item while using the New-VM cmdlet.
  • Get-ESXCLI improvements
    Major upgrade to the Get-ESXCLI cmdlet to now allow the passing of arguments by name instead of position simply by adding the -V2 parameter
  • Added PowerShell v5 and Windows 10 support
  • Added support for the following VMware products: vCloud Director 8.0 and vRealize Operations Manager 6.2

A couple notable resolved issues:

  • Get-VM
    If you try to run Get-VM without specifying any parameters, you might receive an error message of type Value cannot be null.
  • Export-EsxImageProfile
    If you try to export an image profile, you receive an error message of type Cannot instantiate ‘certified’ policy: VibSign module missing.
  • New-DeployRule
    If you try to create a new deploy rule by passing absolute values of host profle, cluster, datacenter, or folder instead of passing the objects, you receive an error message of type Cannot process argument transformation on parameter ‘Item’. Unsupported version URI urn:rbd1/3.0.

For more information on changes made in vSphere PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1, including improvements, security enhancements, and deprecated features, see the vSphere PowerCLI Change Log. For more information on specific product features, see the VMware vSphere PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1 User’s Guide. For more information on specific cmdlets, see the VMware vSphere PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1 Cmdlet Reference.

Upgrade by heading over to the vSphere PowerCLI page and downloading it today!


6 comments have been added so far

  1. Thanks for that comment, Jason. Now I know why my PowerActions has been broken the last 3+ months. Hard to believe it hasn’t been fixed or at least noted in the release notes as a known issue yet.

  2. After spending a lot of time wondering why get-vm returned 0 objects when I connected to my companys v-center, I downgraded from 6.3 to 5.5 – and then everything works. So I’m sorry but I don’t quite trust the compatibility matrix.

    1. I see the same issue. With new release 6.5.x, I see huge memory issues. But, when I switchback to 6.0, everything works smooth. I see that powercli 6.0 is not supported with vcenter 6.5 whcih is a sad thing. I am in dead waters now.

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