Instead of setting up a new image manually, you can reuse an existing image by importing it to a cluster. Upon remediation, the imported image is applied to all hosts in the cluster.

You can import an image only if it is in a JSON format. The JSON file contains only the image metadata, but not the actual software payloads. To successfully import an image to a cluster and apply the software specification to the hosts in the cluster, all the components must specified in the image be available in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot.

So, if you want to distribute and reuse an image across vCenter Server instances, importing the JSON file might not be enough if the components from the image are not available in the target vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot. In such cases, before you import the JSON file to the target cluster, you must first import to the target vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot an offline bundle that contains all components included in the image. If you try to import a JSON file to a cluster but the target vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot does not contain the corresponding components, the import operation fails due to validation errors.

For information about importing updates to the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot, see Import Updates to the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot.



  1. In the vSphere Client, navigate to a cluster that you manage with a single image.
  2. On the Updates tab, select Hosts > Image.
  3. Click the horizontal ellipsis icon and select Import.
  4. In the Import Image dialog box, select a JSON file and click Next.
    • Enter a URL address to the JSON file that you want to import.
    • Browse to a JSON on your local machine.
  5. (Optional) In the Edit Image card, modify the image set-up.
    Image Element Possible Modifications
    ESXi Version From the ESXi Version drop-down menu, select a new ESXi base image.
    Vendor Add-On
    • To add a vendor add-on to the image, click Select.
    • To change the version of the vendor add-on in the image or to select a new vendor add-on, click the pencil icon.
    • To remove the vendor add-on element from the image altogether, click the trash icon .
    Firmware and Drivers Add-On
    • To add a firmware add-on to the image, click Select.
    • To select a new firmware add-on, click the pencil icon.
    • To remove the firmware add-on element from the image altogether, click the trash icon.

    Selecting a firmware add-on for a family of vendor servers is possible only if the respective vendor-provided hardware support manager is registered as an extension to the vCenter Server where vSphere Lifecycle Manager runs.

    Components Click Show details and view the list of additional components in the image.
    • To add components to the image, click Add Components and select components to add to the image.
    • To delete a component from the image, click the trash icon in the table with components.
    • To delete a manually added component that overrides a component in the selected vendor add-on, click the undo icon in the table with components.

      This action reverts the override.

  6. If the image contains conflicting components or unresolved dependencies, resolve the issues and retry the procedure.
  7. (Optional) To validate the image, click the Validate button.
    You validate an image to check for missing dependencies and component conflicts.
  8. Click Save.
    A compliance check task is automatically triggered. You can view compliance information in the Image Compliance card.


The imported JSON file is imported and set as your new image for the target cluster. At that stage, nothing is installed on the hosts in the cluster. The installation of software on the hosts happens during remediation.

What to do next

Remediate the hosts in the cluster against the new image. See Run a Remediation Pre-Check for a Cluster and Remediate a Cluster Against a Single Image.