This is probably one of the last blog articles this year as I’ve got two weeks of holiday! I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Let’s cut the crap, and start with why you are reading this… ESXi Lessons Learned:
I’ve been looking into creating an unattended install for ESXi. As mentioned in Lessons Learned part 2 this is not something that can be done out of the box unfortunately. I did a quick search on the internet and the VMware internal mailing lists but couldn’t find anything useful and that’s why I booted the ISO and logged into the console via “ALT-F1” -> Unsupported -> enter.
After some fiddling around in the ESXi iso I noticed a file called “/usr/lib/vmware/installer/ThinESXInstall.py”. I am not a python guru but I guess the following lines were pretty obvious:
Steps = [ WelcomeStep, LicenseStep, TargetSelectionStep, ConfirmStep, \ WriteStep, PostConfigStep, CompleteStep, RebootStep ]
This line describes the steps taken during the install. After I noticed these I did a quick search again on the filename and an article came up of my friend from down under, Stu aka Mr Vinternals. Stu describes which steps can be removed to decrease the amount of manual intervention:
Steps = [ TargetSelectionStep, WriteStep, PostConfigStep, RebootStep ]
Only the TargetSelectionStep requires input at the moment but that is also something that can be fixed. Look at the script “ThinESXInstallSteps.py”. There is a section that describes the disk selection, you can automate it by altering it and selecting a local disk with “IsLocal()”. That’s all I can say for now….