Delete Root Certificate from vCenter

In my last two posts, we renewed the Root Certificate on the VCSA.

We then renewed the STS certificate.

But we were left with the old Root certificate in on the VCSA, how do we removed it?

You can use the Certificate Management vCenter Trusted Root Chains interface to add, delete and read trusted root certificate chains. This use case demonstrates how to delete a root certificate or certificate chain from the trusted root store of your vCenter Server system.

Deleting certificates is not available through the vSphere Client and you can only do this by using the vSphere Automation API or the CLI tools.

Deleting a root certificate or certificate chain that is in use might cause breakage of your systems. Proceed to delete a root certificate only if you are sure it is not in use by your vCenter Server or any connected systems.

The above link may have good warning, the steps in it are useless, and didn’t work for me, possibly cause I did have the “vSphere Automation API server” or something, I’m not sure putting in the get into a browser simply prompted for creds and didn’t accept them.

So, you can also use PowerCLI, or vecs-cli lets try the latter.

1 ) List the certificates using vecs-cli.

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vecs-cli entry list --store TRUSTED_ROOTS --text | less

2) Find the Certificate you wish to remove and make a note of the Alias and the X509v3 Subject Key Identifier.

My case:
Alias : 9eadf42a18387ee983d3dfa4f607eee91a3e5b67
X509v3 Subject Key Identifier: 0B:62:2D:98:7B:28:34:2A:14:81:CD:34:AC:46:40:06:80:DA:84:3E

3) List the trusted certs published to the VMware Directory Service using the following command (administrator@vsphere.local password required). This command is in the same location as vecs-cli:
C:\Program Files\VMware\vCenter Server\vmafdd>dir-cli trustedcert list

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli trustedcert list

This will output a list of Certificates published to VMDIR. It will look similar to the following output:

4) Locate the Certificate’s CN (thumbprint) which matches the Key Identifier from Step 2 above. In this example, the Certificate will be the first one in the list with the following CN:


5) Using the ID located in Step 4, run the following command, change ID from step 4:

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli trustedcert get --id 0B622D987B28342A1481CD34AC46400680DA843E --login administrator@vsphere.local --outcert /tmp/oldcert.cer

6) Un-publish the CA Certificate from VMDIR by running the following command:

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli trustedcert unpublish --cert /tmp/oldcert.cer

7) Delete the Certificate from VECS utilizing the Alias located in Step 2 by running the following command:

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vecs-cli entry delete --store TRUSTED_ROOTS --alias 9eadf42a18387ee983d3dfa4f607eee91a3e5b67

8) Confirm that the Certificate was deleted by running the following command:

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vecs-cli entry list --store TRUSTED_ROOTS --text | grep Alias

9) Force a refresh of VECS by running the following command. This will ensure updates are pushed to the other PSCs in the environment if there is more than one.

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vecs-cli force-refresh

10) Restart all services on the PSCs and on the vCenter Servers and ensure that all services start and respond normally and that you can log in and manage the environment. (aka giver a reboot)

Logged in just fine, and certs are now clean as a whistle:

Looks like Root Certs are good for 10 Years, STS Certs are good for 10 years, machine Cert is good for 2 years.

Hope these last couple posts help someone.

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