Creating a Custom ESXi Image

1. Download the required ESXi software depot

e.g. ESXi550-201602001.zip from https://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/findPatch.portal

2. Download any additional software from VMware and/or vendors

e.g. VEM550-201504173113-BG-release.zip from https://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=282646785&flowid=42790&softwareid=282088129&release=5.2%281%29SV3%281.15%29&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest

3. Run PowerCLI

4. Add the ESXi software depot via ‘Add-EsxSoftwareDepot –DeportUrl [path to zip]’

5. Check the Image Profile name via ‘Get-ESXImageProfile | Select Name’

6. Clone the Image Profile to new via ‘New-EsxImageProfile –CloneProfile [Image Name] –Name “[New Image Name]”’

e.g. New-ESXiImageProfile –CloneProfile ESXi-5.5.0-20160204001-standard –Name “dmz”

7. Add additional software via ‘Add-ESXSoftwareDepot –DepotUrl [path to zip]’

e.g. Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl .\VEM550-201504173113-BG-release.zip

8. Check the additional software names via ‘Get-EsxSoftwarePackage

9. Add the additional software to your Image Profile via ‘Add-EsxSoftwarePackage –ImageProfile [Your Image Name] –SoftwarePackage [Additional Software name]’

e.g. Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile dmz -SoftwarePackage cisco-vem-v173-esx

10. Export the Image Profile to VIB or ISO via ‘Export-EsxImageProfile [Your Image Name] –ExportTo[ISO/Bundle] -FilePath [Export Path]

e.g. Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile dmz -ExportToBundle -Filepath D:\Deploy\Source\DMZ-Custom\DMZ-Custom-20160610.zip

 

Note: I have encountered an error running this command stating ‘Export-EsxImageProfile : Can not instantiate ‘certified’ policy: VibSign module missing.’

To work around this issue I have added the ‘-NoSignatureCheck’ switch to the Export command.

This has apparently been fixed in http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/powercli/63r1/powercli63r1-releasenotes.html

11. Deploy your image via VUM or direct attached ISO

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