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I've encountered VM templates distributed as an OVF with a feature so that when you boot the VM for the first time you are prompted for configuration options such as hostname, IP address, root password, etc. What is used to do that? Is it specific to a certain virtualization environment, or to a specific client OS, or something else?

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Are you thinking about OOBE, or Out of Box Experience? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-of-box_experience –  DanBig Apr 3 at 18:19
    
with Windows machines you can use SysPrep –  Mike Naylor Apr 3 at 18:22
    
Do you have an example? There are many ways to do this. –  Michael Hampton Apr 3 at 20:49

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It is OS specific, a Linux OS is not customized the wame way a Windows one. However some virtualization evironments provide tools to help you with it, e.g. with VMware vSphere you can create Guest OS Customizations with the vSphere Client and use it with your virtual machine templates.

Customizing Guest Operating Systems in the vSphere Web Client

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