[Release] ESXi-Customizer-PS 2.2 - The ESXi image customization script

I have released version 2.2 of my PowerCLI ImageBuilder based ESXi customization script ESXi-Customizer-PS! This version integrates Online Depots as a source for customization packages.

Here are the changes in detail and some examples of how to make use of them.

What's new
  • Added -load switch to add additional VIBs from connected Online Depots
  • Added -vft switch to connect the V-Front Online Depot
  • Added -dpt switch to connect additional Online Depots by URL
  • Fixed the -update -izip logic to correctly update only existing packages

Usage Examples

1. Add the missing ESXi 5.0 NIC drivers to ESXi 5.5
  ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.2.ps1 -load net-r8168,net-r8169,net-sky2
This creates an ESXi 5.5 installation ISO with the latest patch level and the Realtek and Marvell NIC drivers added that were dropped from ESXi 5.5. A while ago I posted the manual steps to do this, and the new version of ESXi-Customizer-PS reduces this to just one command line!

2. Add packages from the V-Front Online Depot

In the V-Front Online Depot I have published all ESXi packages that I created myself and community supported packages by others. I will continue to add packages here that are frequently used by the community so that they can be easily accessed by ESXi-Customizer-PS.

This example shows how to build an ESXi 5.5 ISO with my sata-xahci and cpu-microcode packages included:
  ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.2.ps1 -vft -load sata-xahci,cpu-microcode
3. Update the HP Customized installation ISO with the latest ESXi patch level

HP offers customized ESXi installation images that include all drivers and tools that are recommended to be used with their ProLiant servers. They are usually based on the newest ESXi Update release, but do not include the latest ESXi patch level, so you normally need to patch your host after you have installed it with an HP image. To avoid this extra step we can build an HP Customized image that already includes the latest ESXi patch level.

The following example shows how to update the HP Customized ESXi 5.5 GA image to the latest ESXi 5.5 patch:
  ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.2.ps1 -izip C:\temp\VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-HP-5.71.3-Sep213-depot.zip -update
You can download the HP Customized Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.5 GA from MyVMware. This procedure will also work for other vendors' customized images that are also available there.

Please note: Version 2.2 is the first version to correctly handle this usage scenario. If you happened to download version 2.1 (that was available for a short time only) then please upgrade to 2.2 now!


ESXi-Customizer-PS is now more powerful than ESXi-Customizer ever was - for details see my earlier comparison here. But to make it the Ultimate ESXi customization tool especially (but not only) for white box hardware users there are two steps missing:
  • Add a GUI to it (because people are afraid of command lines and don't want to read manuals ;-)
  • Add more community supported drivers to the V-Front Online Depot so that they can be used by the script without the need to manually search and download them
This will take some more time... - Watch this space for new announcements!

This post first appeared on the VMware Front Experience Blog and was written by Andreas Peetz. Follow him on Twitter to keep up to date with what he posts.

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