In the process of deploying a new virtual machine from a template or cloning an existing virtual machine, you can customize the Linux guest operating systems of the virtual machines.



  1. Right-click any vSphere Client inventory object that is a valid parent object of a virtual machine, such as data center, cluster, vApp, resource pool, or host, and select New Virtual Machine.
  2. On the Select a creation page, select Clone an existing virtual machine or Deploy from template.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Follow the prompts until you reach the Select clone options page.
  5. On the Select clone options page, select the Customize the operating system check box and click Next.
  6. On the Customize guest OS page, apply a customization specification to the virtual machine, and click Next.
    Option Action
    Select an existing specification Select a customization specification from the list.
    Override To change the guest customization specification for this deployment only, click Override, complete the steps in the Override VM Customization Specification wizard, and click OK.
  7. On the User settings page, specify the required settings for the virtual machine.
    This page of the wizard appears only if the selected specification requires additional customization.
  8. On the Ready to complete page, review the details and click Finish.


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. To determine whether the system is waiting for information, open the virtual machine console.

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 in the /var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.log file.