Before you run the CLI installer to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance or Platform Services Controller appliance, you must prepare a JSON file with configuration parameters and their values for your deployment specification.

The vCenter Server Appliance installer contains JSON templates for all deployment types. For information about the templates, see JSON Templates for CLI Deployment of the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller Appliance.

You can deploy an appliance with minimum configurations by setting values to the configuration parameters in the JSON template for your specification. You can edit the preset values, remove configuration parameters, and add configuration parameters for custom configurations.

For a complete list of the configuration parameters and their descriptions, navigate to the installer subdirectory for your operating system and run the vcsa-deploy install --template-help command or see Deployment Configuration Parameters.



  1. In the vCenter Server Appliance installer, navigate to the vcsa-cli-installer directory, and open the templates subfolder.
  2. Copy the deployment templates from the install subfolder to your workspace.
    Important: The path to the JSON configuration files must contain only ASCII characters. Extended ASCII and non-ASCII characters are unsupported.
  3. In a text editor, open the template file for your specification.
    To ensure the correct syntax of your JSON configuration file, use a JSON editor.
  4. Fill in the values for the required configuration parameters and, optionally, enter additional parameters and their values.
    For example, if you want to use an IPv4 DHCP assignment for the network of the appliance, in the network subsection of the template, change the value of the mode parameter to dhcp and remove the default configuration parameters that are for a static assignment.
            "network": {
                "ip_family": "ipv4",
                "mode": "dhcp"

    The string values, including the passwords, must contain only ASCII characters. Extended ASCII and non-ASCII characters are unsupported.

    To set a value that contains a backslash (\) or quotation mark (") character, you must precede the character with the backslash (\) character. For example, "password":"my\"password" sets the password my"password, "image":"G:\\vcsa\\VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.7.0.XXXX-YYYYYYY_OVF10.ova" sets the path G:\vcsa\VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.7.0.XXXX-YYYYYYY_OVF10.ova.

    The Boolean values must contain only lowercase characters, that is, a value can be either true or false. For example, "ssh_enable":false.

  5. (Optional) Use a JSON editor of your choice to validate the JSON file.
  6. Save in UTF-8 format and close the file.

What to do next

You can create and save additional templates if needed for your deployment specification.