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7zip on ESXi through p7zip

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/04/13

A while ago, I wrote about getting rsync on ESXi: ESXi 5.1 and rsync –

Now I needed [WayBack7zip on ESXi to make sure I could test unpack some 7zip archives.

This turned out much easier than I thought, thanks to [WayBack7Zip for ESXI | Vladimir Lukianov: Заметки who pointed me to the [WayBackP7ZIP project. P7ZIP actually created three things:

  • p7zip (a POSIX 7zip),
  • J7ZIP (a Java port of 7zip)
  • java_lzma (the Java port of the [WayBack7zip lzma SDK which had the first implementation of [WayBack] lzma).

Here are the full steps to get 7zip on ESXi 5.x:

Perform the first 2 steps on a PC or Mac, as [WayBackESXi does not support the bz2 compression format. On the other hand, [Archive.is7zip does not (yet?) support the VMware vmtar compression format.

  1. Download a an x86 binary version of [Archive.isp7zip (I took [Archive.isp7zip_9.20.1_x86_linux_bin.tar.bz2 from version [Archive.is9.20.1, as it corresponds to the [WayBack] 9.20 stable version of 7zip).
  2. Unpack and untar this archive recursively.
  3. Copy these files to to the /bin directory (or another directory on the path, as /bin gets regenerated at each ESXi reboot): 7z,, 7zCon.sfx, 7za, 7zr, (the last one from the Codecs subdirectory).
  4. Then logon to your ESXi machine (console or ssh), and set the execute permissions on a selected number of files ([ files do not need their execute bit set):
~ # cd /bin
/bin # ls -al 7z*
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        562104 Mar 13  2011 7z
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       2860260 Mar 13  2011
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        486328 Mar 13  2011 7zCon.sfx
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       1432128 Mar 13  2011 7za
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        953920 Mar 13  2011 7zr
/bin # chmod 755 7z 7za 7zr

Now there is one little trick: if you run it from the path, it cannot find the file: you have to specify the full path.

Look at the difference without the fully qualified path you get the error “Can’t load ‘./7z.dll’ (./ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory)“:

/vmfs/volumes/50224895-f616e917-b00b-a0369f0e1091/Raid6SSD/7z # 7z t 0.0.CLEAN-EN-XP-SP3.7z

7-Zip 9.20  Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov  2010-11-18
p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=en_US.UTF-8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,8 CPUs)
Can't load './7z.dll' (./ cannot open shared object file: No such file or

7-Zip cannot find the code that works with archives.

[Archive.isWorkaround: use the fully qualified path:

/vmfs/volumes/50224895-f616e917-b00b-a0369f0e1091/Raid6SSD/7z # /bin/7z t 0.0.CL

7-Zip 9.20  Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov  2010-11-18
p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=en_US.UTF-8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,8 CPUs)

Processing archive: 0.0.CLEAN-EN-XP-SP3.7z

Testing     ...
Testing     vmware.log

Everything is Ok

Files: 26
Size:       5288863697
Compressed: 2149440556

Now I can do stuff like [WayBacklooping over many 7z files and test them:

for f in *.7z; do echo "Processing $f file.."; /bin/7z t $f; done


Just in case the sf forum link gets lost, some information about vmtar:

I’m going to try to see if I can get vmtar to compile on x86.

Some examples where vmtar is used are at


3 Responses to “7zip on ESXi through p7zip”

  1. Thanks!

  2. Michel said

    At the very least copy the executables to /usr/bin or, even better, to /usr/local/bin since that is where they belong! /bin should be reserved for running a bare minimum system.

    • jpluimers said

      Thanks for that. I need to figure out which directories are used for what purpose on ESXi, as it is not entirely clear (I could not find the right docs yet).

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