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.

To perform this procedure, start the Customization wizard when you clone a virtual machine or deploy one from a template.


  1. On the Select clone options page of the Clone Existing Virtual Machine wizard, select Customize the operating system and click Next.
  2. On the Computer name page, enter a computer name for the guest operating system and a domain name.
    The operating system uses the computer name to identify itself on the network. On Linux systems, it is called the host name.
    Option Action
    Use the virtual machine name Select to 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 63 characters, it is truncated.
    Enter a name in the Clone/Deploy wizard Select to be prompted to enter a name during cloning or deployment.
    Enter a name
    1. Enter a name.

      The name can contain alphanumeric characters and a hyphen (-). It cannot contain a period (.), blank spaces, or special characters, and cannot contain digits only. Names are not case-sensitive.

    2. (Optional) To ensure that the name is unique, select the Append a numeric value check box.

      This action appends a hyphen followed by a numeric value to the virtual machine name. The name is truncated if it exceeds 63 characters when combined with the numeric value.

    Generate a name using the custom application configured with vCenter Server Optional: Enter a parameter that can be passed to the custom application.
  3. Enter the Domain Name for the computer and click Next.
  4. On the Time zone page, select the time zone for the virtual machine and click Next.
  5. On the Network page, select the type of network settings to apply to the guest operating system.
    Option Description
    Use standard network settings for the guest operating system, including enabling DHCP on all network interfaces

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

    Manually select custom settings You can specify the IP address and other network settings for each network interface in the virtual machine.
  6. To specify IPv4 related settings, select IPv4 and enter IP address and other network settings.
  7. To specify IPv6 related settings, select IPv6 to configure the virtual machine to use IPv6 network.
    The virtual machine can retain the IP address allocated from the network and IPv6 addresses.
    1. Select Prompt user for an address when the specification is used. Selecting this option prompt you to enter IPv6 address.
    2. Select Use the following IPv6 addresses to choose an IPv6 address from the list.
      • Click the pencil icon to enter additional IPv6 addresses. You can specify the full address or shorten it by using zero compression and zero suppression. You must specify at least one IPv6 address. You can edit an existing address, but you must not duplicate existing IPv6 addresses.
      • Enter subnet mask prefix. The prefix length must be between 1–128 where the default value is 64. Gateway is enabled by default, except when you select Do not use IPv6.
  8. Enter DNS and domain settings information. The Primary DNS, Secondary DNS, and Tertiary DNS fields accept both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
  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 starting, the errors are reported using the guest’s system logging mechanism. View the errors by opening /var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.log.