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VMware Tools for hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy (2004018)

Details

When you provision hosts with Auto Deploy, you can select an image profile that includes VMware Tools, or select the smaller image associated with the image profile that does not contain VMware tools.
 
You can download two image profiles from the VMware download site.
  • xxxxx-standard: An image profile that includes the VMware Tools binaries, required by the guest operating system running inside a virtual machine. The image is usually named esxi-5.0.version-xxxxx-standard.
  • xxxxx-no-tools: An image profile that does not include the VMware Tools binaries. This image profile is usually smaller, has less memory overhead, and boots faster in a PXE-boot environment. This image is usually named esxi-5.0.version-xxxxx-no-tools
With vSphere 5.0, use the image profile that includes the VMware Tools binaries.
With vSphere 5.0 Update 1, you can use the standard image profile or the image profile that does not include VMware Tools. If you use the image profile that does not include VMware Tools, you must  set up shared storage that contains VMware Tools and point each host to that location.

Solution

You can deploy ESXi using either image.
  • If the network boot time is of no concern and your environment has sufficient extra memory and storage overhead, choose the image that includes VMware Tools.
  • If you find the network boot time too slow when using the standard image, or if you want to save some space on the hosts, you can use the xxxxx-no-tools image profile and share the tools binaries on a shared storage. 

Follow these steps if you decide to use the xxxxx-no-tools image profile.

  1. Boot an ESXi host that was not provisioned with Auto Deploy.
  2. Copy the /productLocker directory from the ESXi host to a shared storage.
  3. Create a reference host, and create an NFS datastore that includes the directory on which you placed the /productLocker directory.
  4. Change the UserVars.ProductLockerLocation variable to point to the /productLocker directory.
    1. In the vSphere Client, select the host and select Configuration.
    2. In the Software panel, select Advanced Settings.
    3. Scroll down to UserVars and select it.
    4. Set UserVars.ProductLockerLocation to the location of the shared storage.
  5. Create a host profile from the reference host.
  6. Create an Auto Deploy rule that assigns the no-tools image profile and the host profile from the reference host. 
  7. Boot your target hosts with the Auto Deploy rule.

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