I'm trying to create VMs from templates on vSphere 5.5 update 3 using the vSphere Web Client. The guest OS is Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS.

I created a VM and ensured that the following packages are installed:

  • open-vm-tools
  • net-tools
  • perl (5.18)

When cloning the machine, I am specifying 'Customize the Operating System' and selecting a customization specificat on the next screen. This customization spec Computer Name tab has 'Use the virtual machine name' radio button selected, and the name I'm using is definitely less than 63 characters (clonetest).

After cloning the machine, the name is the same as the template, and things like SSH keys have not been refreshed.

There is no /var/log/vmware-imc directory and no logs to shed any light on this, but the packages that were installed on the template are still there:

# dpkg -l | grep 'net-tools\|open-vm-tools\|ii  perl'
ii  net-tools                          1.60-25ubuntu2.1                 amd64        The NET-3 networking toolkit
ii  open-vm-tools                      2:9.4.0-1280544-5ubuntu6.2       amd64        Open VMware Tools for virtual machines hosted on VMware (CLI)
ii  perl                               5.18.2-2ubuntu1.1                amd64        Larry Wall's Practical Extraction and Report Language

Does anyone know what else is needed to enable vSphere to successfully clone Ubuntu guests and make this customization ?

The issue looks similar to Issues customizing a RHEL7 VM deployed from a template on VMware, but simply installing Perl solved their problem, and I already have perl installed

Thanks in advance,


It turns out that versions of open-vm-tools lower than 9.10 do not contain the functionality to customize hosts. On an Ubuntu 15.10 installation, this works as expected. The open-vm-tools version is as follows:

ii  open-vm-tools                      2:9.10.2-2822639-1ubuntu3       amd64        Open VMware Tools for virtual machines hosted on VMware (CLI)

On older versions of Ubuntu and other distributions, you need the open-vm-tools-deployPkg package instead.

Instructions for installing the package on Ubuntu and Centos are at https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2075048

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