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. Start the New VM Guest Customization Spec wizard from the Clone Existing Virtual Machine wizard or the Deploy From Template wizard.
    1. Follow the prompts until you reach the Select clone options page.
    2. On the Select clone options page, select the Customize the operating system check box and click Next.
    3. On the Customize guest OS page, click the Create a new specification icon (). Alternatively, you can select a customization specification from the list and click the Create a new specification from existing one icon ().
  2. On the Computer Name page, enter a computer name for the guest operating system.

    The operating system uses this name to identify itself on the network. On Linux systems, it is called the host name.



    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. 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.

    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

    You are prompted 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.

  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.



    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. If you chose to manually configure network settings, select a NIC from the list and edit its network settings.
    1. Click the Edit the selected adapter icon ().

      The Edit Network wizard opens.

    2. Click IPv4 to specify IPv4-related settings.
      • Select Use DHCP to obtain an IP address automatically if you want to use DHCP.

      • Select Prompt the user for an address when the specification is used if you want vCenter Server to prompt you to enter an IP address. You can enter either an IPv4 or an IPv6 address.

      • Select Use the following IP address to enter the IPv4 address setting manually.

    3. Click IPv6 to configure the virtual machine to use IPv6 network.
      • Select Do not use IPv6 if you do not want to use IPv6.

      • Select the Use DHCP to obtain an IP address automatically option if you want to use DHCP.

      • Select Prompt the user for an address when the specification is used if you want vCenter Server to prompt you to enter an IP address. You can enter either an IPv4 or an IPv6 address.

      • Select Use the following IPv6 addresses to choose an IPv6 address from the list. You can also add IPv6 addresses manually.

        • Click the Add icon to enter additional IPv6 addresses.

        • In the TCP/IP Address dialog box, specify the full IP address and the subnet mask prefix.

          You can shorten the IP address by using zero compression and zero suppression. You must specify at least one IPv6 address.

          The prefix length must be between 1 to 128, and the default value is 64.

      The virtual machine can retain the IP address allocated from the network and IPv6 addresses. Microsoft supports IPv6 for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later, and Windows CE .NET 4.1 or later. However, these operating systems have limited IPv6 support for built-in applications, system services, and are not recommended for IPv6 deployment.


      Gateway is enabled by default, except when you select the Do not use IPv6 option.

    4. Click DNS to specify a DNS server address.
    5. Click WINS to specify primary and secondary WINS information.
    6. Click OK to save the configuration settings and exit the Edit Network wizard.
  7. On the Enter DNS and Domain Settings page, enter the DNS and domain information.

    The Primary DNS, Secondary DNS, and Tertiary DNS fields accept both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

  8. 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.