- Identify default installation scripts
- Identify boot options for scripted installation
Skills and Abilities
- Perform a scripted ESX Host installation
- Perform a scripted ESXi Host installation
- Configure media repository
- Edit installation script parameters
- Configure pre/post script tasks
- Evaluate use cases for scripted installation
- ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide
- Product Documentation
Something on topic and cool is the ultimate deployment appliance mentioned by Jeremy Waldrop and Mike Laverick. This appliance lets you install all types of base operating systems, now including VMware.
Identify default installation scripts
- When you install using a default installation script, the default root password is mypassword.
- The installation media contains the following default installation scripts:
- ESXi: ks.cfg Installs ESXi on the first detected disk
- ESX: ks-first-safe.cfg -Installs ESX on the first detected disk and preserves the VMFS datastores on the disk. ks-first.cfg- Installs ESX on the first detected disk.
- Additionally, after your first interactive installation of ESX, the installer creates a /root/ks.cfg script in the ESX filesystem. This script reflects the choices you made in the interactive installation.
Identify boot options for scripted installation
- See the ESX Installation Guide
Perform a scripted ESX Host installation
- Use the ESX Installation Guide to learn more about the syntax involved in creating scripted installation scripts.
- The installation script can reside in one of the following locations:
- Default installation script
- USB flash drive
- Local disk
Perform a scripted ESXi Host installation
Check out VMware’s guide for Deploying ESXi 4.1 using the Scripted Install feature.
Some important things to note from it:
- You can boot the scripted installation with a CD-ROM drive or over the network using PXE booting
- It supports scripted installations of ESXi to local and remote disks
- All configuration directives initiated by the installation script are logged in the /var/log/weasel.log file of the ESXi host
- Scripted Install is available only with the Installer version of ESXi and is not available in the Embedded version of ESXi
- You cannot use Scripted Install to install ESXi Installable to a USB device
Additionally you will want to check out the ESXi installable and vCenter Server Setup Guide.
Scripted installations include the following steps:
- Create a script using the supported commands.
- Edit the installation script as needed to change settings that are unique for each host.
- Run the scripted installation.
The installation script can reside in one of the following locations:
- Default installation script
When creating the script there are two main approaches you can take
- Create multiple scripts, each containing unique network identification information. The unique network information includes the static IP address and host name of each ESXi host.
- Create one script (or use a default script) that uses DHCP to set up multiple ESXi hosts. After you complete a scripted installation, you can configure each ESXi host separately to assign a unique host name and IP address. VMware recommends that you use static IP addresses.
Configure media repository
This blog from Virtual Kenneth goes through a lot of the above but additionally will give a good guide on setting up an ESXi source repository on a Windows box.
Another good set of blogs on the topic are from Simon Long. The link is to the first of a three part series on rapid deployment of ESXi.
Configure pre/post script tasks
For the above topics read the guides to learn the proper configuration options if you do not already know them. Additionally you can use the output of a ESX installation to give you a good example of what a scripted installation file will look like based on the configuration options you are choosing. This file will be found at /root/ks.cfg
Evaluate use cases for scripted installation
Automating deployment which will save time and eliminate human error on the setup part.