Bulk creating VMs using Nutanix Acropolis ACLI

I have been playing around with the fantastic Nutanix Community Edition (CE) now for a week or more.

Despite the availability of all KVM VM actions in the HTML5 Prism GUI, I wanted to quickly create any number of VMs for testing.

The best way to do this for me was from the shell of the Nutanix controller VM.

I SSH’d into the CVM on my Nutanix CE node, then from the bash shell ran my script which calls the Acropolis CLI commands for creating and modifying VMs.

It loops for 10 iterations, sets VMs to 2GB of memory and 1 virtual CPU. It also attaches a 20GB disk for each VM on my NDFS container called CNTR1

for n in {1..10}
acli vm.create MyVM$n memory=2048 num_vcpus=1
acli vm.disk_create MyVM$n create_size=20G container=CNTR1


This is the tip of the iceberg really, in the script you could also mount an ISO file from your container to each VM and power them on if you wanted to. Better still, clone from an existing VM and create 10 that way would have been better, but the ACLI does not appear to have vm.clone yet as shown in the Nutanix Bible: Capture Or the Acropolis Virtualization Administration docs: Capture2

ACLI commands present on the Community Edition (currently 2015.06.08 version) – are missing vm.clonentnx3 Make sure you check out the new “Book of Acropolis” section in the Nutanix Bible: http://stevenpoitras.com/the-nutanix-bible/#_Toc422750852

One thought on “Bulk creating VMs using Nutanix Acropolis ACLI

  1. Awesome post!

    With more recent versions of the software (need to find exact release) you can also do this with a range:

    For example: vm.clone test[001..100] clone_from_vm=SPLUNKBASE

    Same thing with vm.create, vm.on, etc.

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