Don't miss out on new posts! Sign up!
vSphere 6.5

VMware VCSA 6.5 Photon OS configuration and commands

As we covered in what is Photon OS, it is a cloud operating system built from the ground up for cloud and containers.  VMware is using Photon OS in most of the new appliance releases or updates.  The new VCSA 6.5 appliance is based on Photon and so is the VIC appliance.  Let’s take it a bit further in this post and look at how we can interact with Photon OS a bit more looking at basic configuration, services, and other command line driven commands, etc via VMware VCSA 6.5 Photon OS configuration and commands.

VMware VCSA 6.5 Photon OS configuration and commands

Let’s take a quick look at a few helpful commands via the commandline that we can use to quickly gain information about Photon version, packages, IP configuration, etc.  Some of these are very interesting to find out a little more about the underlying Photon OS that VCSA 6.5 runs on as well as to do some general troubleshooting in certain cases.  The following information is taken directly from the Photon OS administration guide found here.

Finding version of Photon OS:

cat /etc/photon-release
Getting VCSA 6.5 Photon OS version

Checking the IP address:

ip address
Checking the IP address information via the command line VCSA 6.5

Checking the status of Open VM Tools in VCSA 65:

VCSA 6.5 running on Photon OS like the VCSA 6.0 prior running on SUSE Linux, runs Open VM Tools.  If you want to see the status of Open VM Tools, we can do that by running the following command:

systemctl status vmtoolsd.service
Checking the status of VMware Tools VCSA 6.5

Checking the status of services

VMware has a good KB article on stopping, starting, or restarting services in VCSA 6.5 found here.

  • service-control –list (lists all services)
  • service-control –status (lists statuses of services)
  • service-control –stop –all (stops all services)
  • service-control –start –all (starts all services)
  • service-control –stop <service name> Stops specific service
  • service-control –start <service name>  Starts specific service

Managing Packages in Photon OS

All of the packages with VCSA 6.5 are managed by VMware and updated with updates applied with VCSA 6.5 updates.  Updating these or manipulating them manually isn’t supported.  However, you can take a look at the installed packages which also is interesting to see the underlying packages installed with VCSA 6.5.  Photon in the minimal installation doesn’t have a full package manager like yum installed.  Instead it manages packages with an open source, yum-compatible package manager called tdnf, for Tiny DNF.  Tdnf keeps the operating system as small as possible while preserving yum’s robust package-management capabilities. On Photon OS, tdnf is the default package manager for installing new packages. It is a C implementation of DNF package manager.

You can install yum using the following command:

tdnf install yum

You can list the the repositories by using the command:

tdnf repolist
Showing the repo list in VCSA 6.5

Check updates to packages:

tdnf check-update

Concluding Thoughts

The preceding were just a few of the interesting command line commands we can use to look at our VCSA 6.5 configuration, network information, services, packages installed, etc.  The administration guide for Photon OS in general will no doubt provide quite a bit of useful information we can glean to troubleshoot VCSA 6.5 as well as look at advanced configuration.

Don't miss out on new posts! Sign up!

Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.