Manually Customize VMs

Using Commander, you can customize the configuration and network settings of a vCenter VM so that it can begin to operate immediately in your virtualized infrastructure.

You can also customize an SCVMM VM, but only the host name is customizable.

It's possible to customize VMs using workflow steps. See Guest OS workflow steps.

Customize Windows VMs

You can use an answer file or customize the VM using a wizard.

Commander supports unattended VM customization for all Windows operating systems (using the answer file unattend.xml).

For Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000, Commander also supports use of the answer file sysprep.inf.

To customize a Windows vCenter VM:

  1. Select a VM in the Infrastructure or Applications view, right-click Provisioning > Customize VM.
  2. Choose your method of customization:
    • Use an Answer file. Go to step 3.
    • Manually customize a Windows VM using the wizard. Go to step 4.
  3. Based on the version of the Windows guest OS that you're using, specify the location of the Answer file and then go to the next step as indicated for the version:
    • For Windows XP or 2003, go to step 4.
    • For Windows Vista or higher, go to step 5.
  4. Manually enter your customization parameters. Consult your Microsoft documentation as required.
  5. Enter the network parameters.
  6. Review the summary, make changes as required, and start the VM.
  7. Click Finish.

Customize Linux VMs

Commander supports VM customization for any of the Linux versions supported by vCenter.

To customize a Linux vCenter VM:

  1. Select a VM on the Infrastructure or Applications view, right-click, and choose Provisioning > Customize VM.
  2. Select the area and location for the time zone.
  3. Set the hardware clock to universal time or local time by selecting from the drop-down menu and click Next.
  4. On DNS and Domain Settings page, do the following:
    • Complete the host name, domain name, and DNS settings as required.
    • Enter the DNS Search Path, for example,, and click Add.
    • Add more domain names as required. Change their location in the list by using the Up and Down buttons.

      Domain names are used in the order they appear.

  5. On the Adapter page, enter the network parameters and click Next.
  6. Review the summary, make changes as required, and start the VM.
  7. Click Finish.