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

If the network boot time is too slow when using the standard image, or if you want to save space on the hosts, you can use an image profile that does not include VMware Tools and place the VMware Tools binaries on a shared storage.


Download the xxxxx-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.
    You can connect to an ESXi host using an SSH client, see Knowledge Base article 1019852.
  3. Change the UserVars.ProductLockerLocation variable to point to the new /productLocker directory location.
    1. In the vSphere Client, select the reference host and click the Configure tab.
    2. Under System, click Advanced System Settings.
    3. Click Edit.
    4. Filter the settings for uservars, and select UserVars.ProductLockerLocation.
    5. Click the current value 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.