[Release] ESXi-Customizer-PS 2.3 - The ESXi image customization script

I have just released version 2.3 of my ESXi-Customizer-PS script - a PowerCLI script to create customized ESXi installation images and the destined successor of my ESXi-Customizer tool.

I was somewhat in a hurry to get this out, because with the release of ESXi 5.5 Update 2 a bug in PowerCLI ImageBuilder manifested itself that needed a workaround. The new version implements this workaround, but also has one other improvement that you will like.

Until now ESXi-Customizer-PS could only add local Offline Bundles, and that created a hurdle for people who had downloaded VIB files of some community-developed ESXi drivers from random web sites. They had to convert these to Offline Bundles first - which is possible using my Community Packaging Tools, but introduces some overhead to the customization process.

ESXi-Customizer-PS v2.3 can now add VIB files directly! It is embarrassing to note that this functionality has been in PowerCLI ImageBuilder for quite a while, but I just missed it until recently ...

I also improved error handling and added logging functionality to the script so that it will be easier for me to troubleshoot issues that others might have with the script.

But I also decided to remove a feature from the script that was incomplete anyway and rarely used: the integration of the HP Online Depot. HP recently improved this and made not only its ESXi software packages (like the WBEM provider) available through it, but also all the updated drivers that are part of HP's Customized installation images. So you can now build your own customized ESXi ISO for HP servers using only ImageBuilder and the HP Online Depot. However, it is not that easy, because some of the HP packages have conflicts with each other or depend on each other, so it was next to impossible to fully automate this in a reliable and future-proof way. I will eventually provide a separate script for this specific task later ...

Now please visit the ESXi-Customizer-PS project page to look at its usage scenarios and examples and to download the script. Have fun!

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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