Create an individual ESXi 5.0 Image with vSphere ESXi Image Builder

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With the VMware vSphere ESXi Image Builder it is possible to create individualized VMware ESXi images. In this article, we will show you how you can clone an existing image and add new or updated vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs) to it and finally export it as an ISO or offline bundle.

vSphere PowerCLI 5.0

VMware vSphere PowerCLI 5.0 requires the Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned setting.
Afterwards, the VMware vSphere PowerCLI 5.0 can be used.
VMware vSphere ESXi Image Builder is a component of VMware vSphere PowerCLI 5.0.

VMware recommends setting the PowerShell execution policy to RemoteSigned after the installation of PowerCLI. To do this, right-click the VMware vSphere PowerCLI icon after installation and select Run As Administrator. After that, set the execution policy using the following command:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

You can now run VMware vSphere ESXi Image Builder.

vSphere ESXi Image Builder

The example will show how you update an Adaptec driver for an existing ESXi 5.0 (Build 469512) image and add an LSI CIM provider.

Note: Download the ESXi 5.0 offline bundle (zip file) as the initial image. The ISO cannot be used at the initial image.

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot

First, add the initial image as the software depot:

PowerCLI C:\> Add-EsxSoftwareDepot E:\vsphere-5-esxi\VMware-ESXi-5.0.0-469512-depot.zip

Depot URL
---------
zip:E:\vsphere-5-esxi\VMware-ESXi-5.0.0-469512-depot.zip?index.xml

Get-EsxImageProfile

The Get-EsxImageProfile command will now display the existing image profiles:

PowerCLI C:\> Get-EsxImageProfile

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-5.0.0-469512-no-tools     VMware, Inc.    19.08.2011 0... PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-469512-standard     VMware, Inc.    19.08.2011 0... PartnerSupported

From ESXi version 5.0 Update 1, images contain both the previous General image profile as well as the security-only image profile. The latter will be indicated by an s in the name.[1]

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot (Updated Driver, New CIM Provider)

You can add files to the offline bundle. Both offline bundle files used in this example came from the following sites:

Unpack the respective ZIP files in order to open the *offline_bundle*.zip files.

Afterwards, the bundles may simply be added:

PowerCLI C:\> Add-EsxSoftwareDepot E:\Adaptec\aacraid-1.0.1-offline_bundle-560288.zip

Depot URL
---------
zip:E:\Adaptec\aacraid-1.0.1-offline_bundle-560288.zip?index.xml


PowerCLI C:\> Add-EsxSoftwareDepot E:\LSI\VMW-ESX-5.0.0-LSIProvider-500.04.V0.24-261033-offline_bundle-456178.zip

Depot URL
---------
zip:E:\LSI\VMW-ESX-5.0.0-LSIProvider-500.04.V0.24-261033-offline_bundle-4561...

New-EsxImageProfile

PowerCLI C:\> New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile ESXi-5.0.0-469512-standard -Name "ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons"

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons  VMware, Inc.    19.08.2011 0... PartnerSupported

Get-EsxSoftwarePackage

PowerCLI C:\> Get-EsxSoftwarePackage

Name                     Version                        Vendor     Release Date
----                     -------                        ------     ------------
net-ixgbe                2.0.84.8.2-10vmw.500.0.0.46... VMware     19.08.201...
ehci-ehci-hcd            1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-atiixp          0.4.6-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-megaraid2           2.00.4-9vmw.500.0.0.469512     VMware     19.08.201...
uhci-usb-uhci            1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
net-r8168                8.013.00-3vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
ohci-usb-ohci            1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-qla4xxx             5.01.03.2-3vmw.500.0.0.469512  VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-sil680          0.4.8-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-megaraid-sas        4.32-1vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-mpt2sas             06.00.00.00-5vmw.500.0.0.46... VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-aic79xx             3.1-5vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-megaraid-mbox       2.20.5.1-6vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
net-bnx2                 2.0.15g.v50.11-5vmw.500.0.0... VMware     19.08.201...
misc-drivers             5.0.0-0.0.469512               VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-aacraid             5.0.5.1.7.28700-1OEM.500.0.... Adaptec... 17.12.201...
scsi-fnic                1.5.0.3-1vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-lpfc820             8.2.2.1-18vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-hpsa                5.0.0-17vmw.500.0.0.469512     VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-bnx2i               1.9.1d.v50.1-3vmw.500.0.0.4... VMware     19.08.201...
sata-sata-sil            2.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
net-igb                  2.1.11.1-3vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
net-e1000e               1.1.2-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
net-forcedeth            0.61-2vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
sata-ata-piix            2.12-4vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-qla2xxx             901.k1.1-14vmw.500.0.0.469512  VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-adp94xx             1.0.8.12-6vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
net-sky2                 1.20-2vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
ipmi-ipmi-msghandler     39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
net-be2net               4.0.88.0-1vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
ipmi-ipmi-devintf        39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
ipmi-ipmi-si-drv         39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
net-nx-nic               4.0.557-3vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
sata-ahci                3.0-6vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-ips                 7.12.05-4vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
LSIProvider              500.04.V0.24-261033            LSI        28.07.201...
sata-sata-promise        2.12-3vmw.500.0.0.469512       VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-cmd64x          0.2.5-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
sata-sata-svw            2.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-via             0.3.3-2vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
esx-tboot                5.0.0-0.0.469512               VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-pdc2027x        1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
misc-cnic-register       1.1-1vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
net-s2io                 2.1.4.13427-3vmw.500.0.0.46... VMware     19.08.201...
net-e1000                8.0.3.1-2vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
block-cciss              3.6.14-10vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
net-enic                 1.4.2.15a-1vmw.500.0.0.469512  VMware     19.08.201...
net-bnx2x                1.61.15.v50.1-1vmw.500.0.0.... VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-hpt3x2n         0.3.4-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
sata-sata-nv             3.5-3vmw.500.0.0.469512        VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-serverworks     0.4.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512      VMware     19.08.201...
net-cnic                 1.10.2j.v50.7-2vmw.500.0.0.... VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-mptsas              4.23.01.00-5vmw.500.0.0.469512 VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-aacraid             1.1.5.1-9vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
tools-light              5.0.0-0.0.469512               VMware     19.08.201...
ima-qla4xxx              2.01.07-1vmw.500.0.0.469512    VMware     19.08.201...
esx-base                 5.0.0-0.0.469512               VMware     19.08.201...
net-tg3                  3.110h.v50.4-4vmw.500.0.0.4... VMware     19.08.201...
ata-pata-amd             0.3.10-3vmw.500.0.0.469512     VMware     19.08.201...
net-r8169                6.011.00-2vmw.500.0.0.469512   VMware     19.08.201...
scsi-mptspi              4.23.01.00-5vmw.500.0.0.469512 VMware     19.08.201...

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage

PowerCLI C:\> Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons -SoftwarePackage scsi-aacraid

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons  VMware, Inc.    20.03.2012 1... PartnerSupported


PowerCLI C:\> Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons -SoftwarePackage LSIProvider

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons  VMware, Inc.    20.03.2012 1... PartnerSupported

Compare-EsxImageProfile

PowerCLI C:\> Compare-EsxImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-469512-standard ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons


Equal               : False
PackagesEqual       : False
RefAcceptanceLevel  : PartnerSupported
CompAcceptanceLevel : PartnerSupported
OnlyInRef           : {}
OnlyInComp          : {LSI_bootbank_LSIProvider_500.04.V0.24-261033}
UpgradeFromRef      : {Adaptec_Inc_bootbank_scsi-aacraid_5.0.5.1.7.28700-1OEM.5
                      00.0.0.406165}
DowngradeFromRef    : {}

Export-EsxImage-Profile

PowerCLI C:\> Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons -FilePath E:\ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons.iso -ExportToIso
PowerCLI C:\> dir E:\ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons.iso


    Directory: E:\


Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-----        20.03.2012     16:04  313225216 ESXi-5.0.0-469512-RAID-Addons.iso

Alternatives

The Windows Tool ESXi-Customizer can integrate VIBs in individual ISOs:

References

  1. VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch ESXi50-Update01: VMware ESXi 5.0 Complete Update 1 (VMware Knowledge Base)

Additional Information

Related articles

Configuration Limitations with VMware vShpere 5
Creating a Virtual Machine using vSphere Client 5.0
Installation VMware ESXi 5.0 from a USB-Stick