To prepare hosts to participate in NSX-T, you must install NSX-T kernel modules on ESXi hosts. This allows you to build the NSX-T control-plane and management-plane fabric. NSX-T kernel modules packaged in VIB files run within the hypervisor kernel and provide services such as distributed routing, distributed firewall, and bridging capabilities.

About this task

You can download the NSX-T VIBs manually and make them part of the host image. The download paths can change for each release of NSX-T. Always check the NSX-T downloads page to get the appropriate VIBs.


  1. Log in to the host as root or as a user with administrative privileges
  2. Navigate to the /tmp directory.
    [root@host:~]: cd /tmp
  3. Download and copy the nsx-lcp file into the /tmp directory.
  4. Run the install command.
    [root@host:/tmp]: esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/nsx-lcp-<release>.zip
    Installation Result
       Message: Operation finished successfully.
       Reboot Required: false
       VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_nsx-aggservice_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-da_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-esx-datapath_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-exporter_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-host_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-lldp_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-mpa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-netcpa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-python-protobuf_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-sfhc_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsxa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsxcli_<release>
       VIBs Removed:
       VIBs Skipped:

    Depending on what was already installed on the host, some VIBs might be installed, some might be removed, and some might be skipped. A reboot is not required unless the command output says Reboot Required: true.


As a result of adding an ESXi host to the NSX-T fabric, the following VIBs get installed on the host.

  • nsx-aggservice—Provides host-side libraries for NSX-T aggregation service. NSX-T aggregation service is a service that runs in the management-plane nodes and fetches runtime state from NSX-T components.

  • nsx-da—Collects discovery agent (DA) data about the hypervisor OS version, virtual machines, and network interfaces. Provides the data to the management plane, to be used in troubleshooting tools.

  • nsx-esx-datapath—Provides NSX-T data plane packet processing functionality.

  • nsx-exporter—Provides host agents that report runtime state to the aggregation service running in the management plane.

  • nsx-host— Provides metadata for the VIB bundle that is installed on the host.

  • nsx-lldp—Provides support for the Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), which is a link layer protocol used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors on a LAN.

  • nsx-mpa—Provides communication between NSX Manager and hypervisor hosts.

  • nsx-netcpa—Provides communication between the central control plane and hypervisors. Receives logical networking state from the central control plane and programs this state in the data plane.

  • nsx-python-protobuf—Provides Python bindings for protocol buffers.

  • nsx-sfhc—Service fabric host component (SFHC). Provides a host agent for managing the lifecycle of the hypervisor as a fabric host in the management plane's inventory. This provides a channel for operations such as NSX-T upgrade and uninstall and monitoring of NSX-T modules on hypervisors.

  • nsxa—Performs host-level configurations, such as hostswitch creation and uplink configuration.

  • nsxcli—Provides the NSX-T CLI on hypervisor hosts.

  • nsx-support-bundle-client - Provides the ability to collect support bundles.

To verify, you can run the esxcli software vib list | grep nsx or esxcli software vib list | grep <yyyy-mm-dd> command on the ESXi host, where the date is the day that you performed the installation.

What to do next

Add the host to the NSX-T management plane. See Join the Hypervisor Hosts with the Management Plane.