06 Jul 2009 @ 3:06 PM 

I spent several hours on the phone today with VMWare support writing a kickstart config file for my ESX 4.0 host.

There is some good news and some bad news about KickStart in ESX 4.0

Good News:

  • After installing from CD, ESX creates a ks.cfg file for you in /root that contains all the settings you used during install, so if you don’t plan on doing any additional configuration, you don’t even need to write a ks.cfg file.
  • There are a plethora of additional options that have been added since 3.5
  • KickStart files can be pointed to after booting from CD, where as previously (3.5) you had to have a PXE server to even think about an automated installation.

Bad News:

  • KickStart files from 3.5 are completely incompatible with 4.0
  • Because of CLI changes, any %post commands have to be re-planned
  • You can no longer use VMWare WebServices to generate a ks.cfg file from your current configuration. (This has been replaced with Host Profiles, which comes with ESX Enterprise Plus and vSphere Server)

Overall, I had a decent experience with support, and we ironed out my issues pretty quickly.  I learned a great deal about the new command structure in 4.0, which is similar enough to 3.5 t get the hang of quickly.

My biggest caveat wasn’t the creation of the KickStart file, but learning how to configure iSCSI from the command line, which I will share with you in a separate post. If you’re interested in seeing my KickStart file, you may do so here.


Posted By: Daenks
Last Edit: 06 Jul 2009 @ 03:19 PM

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