The VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) is a Linux version of the vCenter Server, this post discusses the placement of the System Preparation tools (sysprep) packages within the vCSA and how to make the contents of the DEPLOY.CAB file available. Once configured, it is possible to use Guest Operating System Customizations with the vCSA.
My previous posts provide further detail around the features and benefits, feature parity with the Windows vCenter Server, how to quickly deploy the vCSA and how to configure an external Oracle database for larger deployments.
For more information about the vCSA, please see the resources listed here https://vmwire.com/vmware-vcenter-server-virtual-appliance-vcsa/.
The location of the sysprep directory on the vCSA is located in
To get to this location, use a SSH client like WinSCP or FileZilla. The vCSA comes pre-configured with sshd, so no further action needs to be taken here.
Login as root | vmware
You’ll see the following folder structure within the /etc/vmware-vpx/sysprep/ directory:
Note that Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7 are not listed, this is because sysprep is built into those operating systems and vCenter can already leverage this. Guest Operating System Customizations with the vCSA is also supported with Linux operating systems out of the box (no configuration to the vCSA is required), although sysprep is obviously not required, please see the Guest OS Customization Support Matrix for supported Linux distributions.
Follow the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide for instructions on extracting the necessary sysprep files, these files can be found in the DEPLOY.CAB file. If you’re migrating from the Windows vCenter Server to the vCSA, just copy the above directories over.
To obtain the sysprep files, you can use the installation CD/DVDs for each operating system or use the following links to download them (these links are detailed in VMware KB1005593):
Guest Operating System Customization Requirements
Guest operating system customization is supported only if a number of requirements are met.
VMware Tools Requirements
The most current version of VMware Tools must be installed on the virtual machine or template to customize the guest operating system during cloning or deployment.
Virtual Disk Requirements
The guest operating system being customized must be installed on a disk attached as SCSI node 0:0 in the virtual machine configuration.
Customization of Windows guest operating systems requires the following conditions:
- Microsoft Sysprep tools must be installed on the vCenter Server system.
- The ESXi host that the virtual machine is running on must be 3.5 or later.
Customization of Linux guest operating systems requires that Perl is installed in the Linux guest operating system.
Guest operating system customization is supported on multiple Linux distributions.
Verifying Customization Support for a Guest Operating System
To verify customization support for Windows operating systems or Linux distributions, see the Guest OS Customization Support Matrix.