This weekend I spent sometime with the new vCenter Orchestrator virtual appliance in the ghetto lab. Instead of using the vSphere Client to deploy the OVF, I wanted to see if I could deploy it 100% from the command line using the ovftool. One of the cool things about OVF from an author perspective, is the ability to create custom variables which can then be specified during deployment to include guest customization, network or application configurations.

In the case of the new vCO virtual appliance, VMware provides the following four variables to customize the network configuration:

  • vami.DNS.vCO_Appliance
  • vami.gateway.vCO_Appliance
  • vami.ip0.vCO_Appliance
  • vami.netmask0.vCO_Appliance

Using the ovftool, you can specify the following variables to not only deploy the vCO OVF through the commandline but also configure the guestOS network without having to manually go through vSphere Client or remote console.

Here is an example of the ovftool command to deploy vCO:

/usr/bin/ovftool --acceptAllEulas --skipManifestCheck '--net:Network 1=VM_Network' --datastore=vesxi50-1-local-storage-1 --diskMode=thin --name=vco --prop:vami.DNS.vCO_Appliance= --prop:vami.gateway.vCO_Appliance= --prop:vami.ip0.vCO_Appliance= --prop:vami.netmask0.vCO_Appliance= vCO_VA- 'vi://'
Opening OVF source: vCO_VA-

If the command looks a little daunting, it is really not and to make the deployment of vCO even simpler, I decided to write a small shell script called that users can use.

The script assumes you have ovftool installed and downloaded both the vCO OVF and system disk in the same working directory. You will need to edit a few variables within the script which specifies the vCenter and ESXi host to deploy to and resources for vCO appliance such as network portgroup, datastore, etc.

Note: There are many ways of using the ovftool to deploy an OVF. In this simple example, it requires you to specify an ESX(i) host, but you can modify the locator to deploy to a VM folder or datacenter path. For more examples and options, please take a look at the ovftool documentation.

Here is an example of the script in action:

Once the vCO virtual appliance has been deployed, you can also have it automatically power on by specifying the following parameter --powerOn.

If everything was successful, you should now be able to point your browser to the hostname of your vCO server and you should taken to the vCO splash screen.

Now you can easily deploy vCO without the need of the vSphere Client! Happy workflowing 🙂

9 thoughts on “Unattended Deployment of vCenter Orchestrator Virtual Appliance

  1. Great work! really helped with what I’m doing, one question I have is how to auto accept the SSL thumbprint? when I try to deploy VDP

    Accept SSL fingerprint (77:47:CA:D5:21:07:CD:82:04:08:0A:9C:11:2D:17:F5:D9:90:E4:C4) for host as target type.
    Fingerprint will be added to the known host file
    Write ‘yes’ or ‘no’

    would you use?


    SSLthumbprint of the target.OVF Tool verifies
    the SSL thumbprint that it receives from the
    target,if this value is set

    • Thanks, Robb — was looking for that myself, as the installer was inexplicably hanging near the end. Tons of SSL fingerprint verification “yes or no?” questions filled the esxi_firstboot.log file. That -noSSLVerify flag fixed it!

  2. Thanks. This page really helped me a lot.

    For unattended deployment to work for vCO 5.5 just add two more properties for ovftool command.

Thanks for the comment!