When you provision ESXi hosts with vSphere Auto Deploy, you can select to provision the host by using the image profile that does not contain VMware Tools binaries. This image profile is usually smaller, has a lower memory overhead, and boots faster in a PXE-boot environment.

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 image profile that does not include VMware Tools, and place the VMware Tools binaries on a shared storage.


Download thexxxxx-no-tools `image profile from the VMware download site.


  1. Boot an ESXi host that was not provisioned with vSphere Auto Deploy.
  2. Copy the /productLocker directory from the ESXi host to a shared storage.
  3. Change the UserVars.ProductLockerLocation variable to point to the /productLocker directory.
    1. In the vSphere Web Client, select the reference host and click the Manage tab.
    2. Select Settings and click Advanced System Settings.
    3. Filter the settings for uservars, and select UserVars.ProductLockerLocation.
    4. Click the pen icon and edit the location so it points to the shared storage.
  4. Create a host profile from the reference host.
  5. Create a vSphere Auto Deploy rule that assigns the xxxxx-no-tools image profile and host profile from the reference host to all other hosts.
  6. Boot your target hosts with the rule so they pick up the product locker location from the reference host.