Starting with VMware PowerCLI 12.0, you can create a custom PXE image by using any software depot and a custom software specification.


Install VMware PowerCLI 12.0 or later.

Verify that you have access to the software depot that contains the software specification you want to use.


  1. Gather the required information for the software specification that you use to create a custom PXE image.
    1. Get the base image version for the required patch or upgrade by running the Get-DepotBaseImages cmdlet:
      PS C:\> Get-DepotBaseImages -Depot C:\
      The command output is:
      Version                                 Vendor                                  Release date
      -------                                 ------                                  ------------
      7.0.2-0.0.17867351                      VMware, Inc.                            04/29/2021 00:00:00
    2. Get other packages, such as OEM addons, with cmdlets used with new metadata in software depots. For example:
      PS C:\> Get-DepotAddons -Depot C:\
    The command output is:
    Name                    Version                 ID                      Vendor                  Release date
    ----                    -------                 --                      ------                  ------------
    testaddonv1             1.0.0-1                 testaddonv1:1.0.0-1     ESXLifecycle QE         02/20/2019 18:28:23
    You can also list all components in a sofware depot with the Get-DepotComponents cmdlet:
    PS C:\> Get-DepotComponents -Depot C:\
    The command output is:
    Name                             Version                          ID                                               Vendor
    ----                             -------                          --                                              ------
    Intel-i40en               Intel-i40en:     Intel
    You can use any number and combination of online and offline software depots.
  2. Create a software specification. For example:
        "base_image": {
            "version": "7.0.2-0.0.17867351"
        "add_on": {
            "name": "testaddonv1",
            "version": "1.0.0-1"
        "components": {
           "Intel-i40en": ""
    The software specification is a JSON file that contains information about the ESXi base image and additional packages, such as a vendor add-on.
  3. Generate a custom PXE image by running the New-PxeImage cmdlet with the parameters Depots,SoftwareSpec and Destination. For example:
    New-PxeImage -Depots “c:\temp\” , “c:\temp\” -SoftwareSpec “c:\temp\HPE-70U1d-custom.JSON” –Destination “C:\pxe-image” 
    The depot(s) include the path to the zip files for the supported ESXi version and vendor add-on. The destination include the path and file name for the custom PXE file.
    You can pass additional kernel options, create a live image, overwrite existing files, or check acceptance levels for individual VIBs used during the creation of the image. For more information about the New-PxeImage cmdlet, see

What to do next

You can use the PXE image in remediation workflows of PXE booted ESXi hosts.