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It's time to share some of my experiences, crazy ideas, tips and tricks !!!

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Now, that we learned how to get started with ESX Scripted Installation.
It’s time to starting customizing your script.

I would not go into details about every setting on the script because you can check them on ESX Installation Guide.

But, one thing I wanted to pointed it out is that I needed to make one adjustment on the disk section to be able to install it on next hosts.

I commented the line with specifies what disk to use and uncomment the line to use the first disk detected.
See example bellow:

#part '/boot' --fstype=ext3 --size=1100 --ondisk=mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0
# Uncomment to use first detected disk:
part '/boot' --fstype=ext3 --size=1100 --onfirstdisk
#part 'none' --fstype=vmkcore --size=110 --ondisk=mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0
# Uncomment to use first detected disk:
part 'none' --fstype=vmkcore --size=110 --onfirstdisk

But what now ?!?!

You probably don’t want to install all your hosts with the same name and same IP configuration, right ?

You can find several blogs to teach you how to use input files or websites with required information, but I personal believe, just and input prompt during install would works better.

There’s a special entrance called %pre, where you can specify everything you want before start your installation. So, how to get it working ?

After the last line on the script you add the %pre section. See my example bellow with comments:

Now…how to get the installation read my /tmp/networking file with the information I just typed in ?!?!

Look for the network section above, should be near the timezone section, comment it (add # at the start of the line)

Then add the line bellow:
%include /tmp/networkconfig
It’s done!!
The installation will starts, jump to the %pre section where you can enter the information to be used by the installer.

Now that you learned how to use the %pre section you can use the same concept to gather all kind of information you want , like time zone, license, keyboard, etc..

See you next.

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