Manage vmkernel using esxcli in comparison to DCUI
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Manage vmkernel using esxcli in comparison to DCUI


Article ID: 345285


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


The purpose of this article is to outline variation in the assignment of a MAC address to a vmkernel port when using esxcli in comparison to DCUI (Direct Console User Interface).


  • Using DCUI to assign vmnic to Management VMkernel, MAC address will change to underlying physical network adapter selected.
  • Using esxcli network cmdlets to create VMKernel will generate a VMware Universally Unique address.


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.5
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.7
VMware vSphere ESXi 7.0.0


This  behavior of DCUI is by design to take the MAC address of the first uplink.


During Initial Installation and DCUI, ESXi management interface (default vmk0) is created during installation.

The MAC address assigned will be the primary active physical NIC (pnic) associated.
If the associated vmnic is modified with the management interface vmkernel will once again assign MAC address of the associated physical NIC.
To create a VMkernel port and attach it to a portgroup on a Standard vSwitch, run these commands:
esxcli network ip interface add --interface-name=vmkX --portgroup-name=portgroup
esxcli network ip interface ipv4 set --interface-name=vmkX --ipv4=ipaddress --netmask=netmask --type=static"
Alternatively, you can also use esxcli to create the management interface vmkernel on the VDS.
Creation of the management interface with the 'esxcli network' will generate a VMware Universally Unique address instead of the pnic MAC address.
It is recommended to use the esxcli network IP interface method to create the management interface  and not use DCUI.


Additional Information

Using DCUI to remove vmnic binding from management vmkernel or any modification will apply change at vSwitch level. Management interface is associated with propagating the change to any port groups within the vSwtich level.