Installing VMWare’s ESXi guest tools on Ubuntu 11.10

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the IRC channel about how to install the guest tools on linux – with a lot of people recommending that you install the tools via the tools installer and the script. I really don’t like to do things this way – as I believe things should be installed using the package manager, and creating .debs of the tools means you don’t need to install a compiler on all of your guests.

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Customising the kickstart script for ESXi automated installs

After my last post, ‘Installing VMware ESXi via PXE’, I found that I needed to do a little customisation of the kickstart script on a per host basis. This post shows how I went about that, with a simple hack to aquire the MAC address and then customise the script based on that. This is a very simple example, but you could modify this easily for your needs. Notice I have two MACs per host below, this is because the machines could PXE over either of their 2 interfaces.

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Installing VMWare ESXi via PXE

We’re going down the route of virtualising our infrastructure at Timico, which means I’m having to get my hands dirty with VMWare. We’ve tried the Xen route, and not really got on with it – so it’s time to move on to something a little more polished.

In this article, I’ll outline how I plan on speeding up the provisioning of new tin to run as VM machines. The plan is to be able to plug in a new node whenever one is needed, and have it fully auto-provisioned from start to end. The first step in doing that is to automate the installation of vmware ESXi – which is done by PXE booting.

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