Vsphere-iso vmware tools

Just trying to understand if vmtools installation is a requirement to be able to build a VMs on ESXi. I can understand it when DHCP IP address is in use then to be able to connect back VM IP should be somehow exctracted but what about static IPs? Even when I build a Linux VM with static IP and ssh_host defined packer doesnt use it. This is different from Hyper-V when ssh_host with static IP is working without I install hyperv-daemons.

Can some one confirm that vmtools are abosolutely must in case I need some advanced VM customisations?


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I’m in the same situation as you, I can’t generate an ISO because of the IP.

In my case I had to install vmtools, since I have not found any other solution. If you dont want to use vmtools another workaround might be is just to use Vmware Workstation to build the image, you can configure Vmware HW version for compatability and at the end export image to OVF. In Vmware Workstation I was able to build images with static IP and ssh_host.
Hope it helps.

Thank you for your response. In your case, how do you run the vmtools installation?
I have tried several ways to run the vmtools installation on Debian 10 and CentOS 8 and I have not been able to get it to work.

Thank you very much. :slightly_smiling_face:

Did you try to install and use the open-vm-tools package with the package manager of your choice/ distribution? They should work as well as they are maintened by VMware.

I am using them without any problems.

Yes, I can install it manually without any problem. My question is if it is possible to install vmtools through Packer without assigning any IP.

Thank you very much.

OK, I see. I’ve done that before, but I will have to search for the script. You will have Packer to mount the VMware tools ISO, copy them to /tmp, unpack them and run them with an answer file. This should work without network connectivity.

Here is the script:

But I don’t get it: the open-vm-tools package should be part of the installation iso. What’s about that thing with the ip address? If you are not able to call out to the internet, you can install packages from the iso. VMware tools, too.

for centos7 I used ks.cfg file with dhcp or static IP and then part of the %post I used yum -y open-vm-tools to install vmtools package and systemctl to enable it, then after packer reboots the VM it can extract IP and use it to connect by ssh.


This is what I am talking about, but there is no network/ static ip/ DHCP, if I got it right. :man_shrugging:t3:

Hi @Wolfsrudel ,
were you able to get the VMware Tools installed while the VM (Windows) doesn’t have network connection, yet?