When backing up VMWARE ESXi free edition you may receive the following error from your backup software:

Current license or ESXi version prohibits execution of the requested operation

ALTERR_VMWARECBT_001
ALTERR_BASEBACKUPCONTROLLER_018

This error occurs when you attempt to back up a virtual machine using the free VMWARE version of ESXi.

There are alternatives to achive a VMWARE backup. The first is to manually back up by exporting the virtual machine. Of course this can be time consuming and only works well if you have a single VM with small storage.

The second method is to use GhettoVCB, it works well and it’s free. The drawback is that it is a bit difficult to configure if you ar not familiar with Linux and don’t feel comfortable executing commands from the shell.

The final option is to purchase Imperius Advanced VM Backup. It will back up virtual machines on ESXi freeware editions reliably and it’s easy to set up. You install it on a Windows PC or server, set the credentials for the origin and destination and schedule a backup. It’s by far the best alternative given the comprehensive features and modest price.  The Imperius backup will require you to enable Change Block Tracking.

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