In the process of deploying a new virtual machine from a template or cloning an existing virtual machine, you can customize Linux guest operating systems for the virtual machine.


Ensure that all requirements for customization are met. See Guest Operating System Customization Requirements.


  1. Select View > Management > Customization Management Manager and click New to start the Windows Guest Customization.
  2. Select the Target Virtual Machine OS and enter the name and description for the Customization Specification Information, then click Next.
    Note: If you want to use a custom sysprep file, select Use Custom Sysprep Answer File.
  3. Select Customize using the Customization Wizard and click Next.
  4. Specify how to determine the host name to identify the guest operating system on the network.
    Option Action
    Enter a name
    1. Type a name.

      The name can contain alphanumeric characters and the hyphen (-) character. It cannot contain periods (.) or blank spaces and cannot be made up of digits only. Names are not case-sensitive.

    2. (Optional) To ensure that the name is unique, select Append a numeric value to ensure uniqueness. This appends a hyphen followed by a numeric value to the virtual machine name. The name is truncated if it exceeds 15 characters when combined with the numeric value.
    Use the virtual machine name The computer name that vCenter Server creates is identical to the name of the virtual machine on which the guest operating system is running. If the name exceeds 15 characters, it is truncated.
    Enter a name in the Deploy wizard The vSphere Web Client prompts you to enter a name after the cloning or deployment is complete.
    Generate a name using the custom application configured with vCenter Server Enter a parameter that can be passed to the custom application.
  5. Enter the Domain Name for the computer and click Next.
  6. Select the time zone for the virtual machine and click Next.
  7. Select the type of network settings to apply to the guest operating system.
    Option Action
    Typical settings

    Select Typical settings and click Next.

    vCenter Server configures all network interfaces from a DHCP server using default settings.

    Custom settings
    1. Select Custom settings and click Next.
    2. For each network interface in the virtual machine, click the ellipsis button (...) .
    3. Enter IP address and other network settings and click OK.
    4. When all network interfaces are configured, click Next.
  8. Enter DNS and domain settings.
  9. Save the customized options as an .xml file.
    1. Select Save this customization specification for later use.
    2. Specify the filename for the specification and click Next.
  10. Click Finish to save your changes.


You return to the Deploy Template or to the Clone Virtual Machine wizard. The customization is finished after you complete the Deploy Template or the Clone Virtual Machine wizard.

When the new virtual machine starts for the first time, the guest operating system runs finalization scripts to complete the customization process. The virtual machine might restart several times during this process.

If the guest operating system pauses when the new virtual machine starts, it might be waiting for you to correct errors, such as an incorrect product key or an invalid user name. Open the virtual machine’s console to determine whether the system is waiting for information.

What to do next

If the new virtual machine encounters customization errors while it is booting, the errors are reported using the guest’s system logging mechanism. View the errors by opening /var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.log.