Adding Third Party Drivers To A VMware vSphere/ESXi 5 Installation ISO

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Stolen from http://alexander.walden.de/2012/01/18/making-your-own-esxi-5-installation-image/

The SSD I purchased as the only disk in my new server isn't recognized by the vSphere installation CD. I need to add a driver from the vendor in order to do the installation.

  1. Download and install VMware vSphere PowerCLI on a Windows 7 machine
    • Run it as an administrator
    • The first time you start it, run

      Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

  2. Download the driver. The driver I needed is found at:

    ocz10xx-1.0.0-offline_bundle-751505.zip

  3. Unzip the driver file into a location that is accessible to the PowerCLI window.
  4. Add the VMware online depot as the starting point:

    Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

    Alternately, you can download the VMware vSphere offline bundle and use it as the base depot by running:

    Add-EsxSoftwareDepot c:\temp\VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-799733-depot.zip

  5. Add the driver's offline bundle ZIP file to the depot:

    Add-EsxSoftwareDepot c:\temp\ocz10xx-1.0.0-offline_bundle-751505.zip (remember to adjust the path to your environment!)

  6. To check the software packages in the depot for a specific vendor, run

    Get-EsxSoftwarePackage -Vendor ocz*

    You'll need to do this to get the driver's internal package name for a later step.

  7. To show all software packages in the depot, run

    Get-EsxSoftwarePackage

  8. Next, select a valid ESXi 5 image profile and create a clone that you'll then enhance. Run Get-EsxImageProfile to get a list of all available profiles. For this example, I’m selecting ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard since it's the latest available as of this writing. To create a clone of this profile run

    New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard -Name ESXi-5.0.0-20111204001-Custom.

    Obviously feel free to adjust the name of the image as required

    OPTIONAL: You may need to change the Acceptance Level of your image depending on which drivers you want to inject by running

    Set-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom -AcceptanceLevel CommunitySupported

  9. Now add the driver to your profile by running

    Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-custom -SoftwarePackage scsi-ocz10xx

  10. To get the list of VIBs in your profile, run

    (Get-EsxImageProfile -Name ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom).VibList

  11. Now export your custom ISO:

    Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom -ExportToISO -FilePath "c:\temp\ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom.iso"

  12. If you want to save a custom depot zip file, run

    Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom -ExportToBundle -FilePath "c:\temp\ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom.zip"

  13. To compare the original to your profile, run

    Compare-EsxImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom

  14. And just in case you need to know how to remove a package:

    Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-Custom -SoftwarePackage scsi-ocz10xx

Note: I had to transfer the ISO image to Linux and burn using cdrecord in order to get a CD that would boot properly.