There was an interesting question on the VMTN forums last week on capturing the list of supported guest operating systems using the vCloud APIs. This feature is currently not available today using the vCloud API, as it there is no way to extract the list of supported guestOS identifiers. If you take a look at the vCloud Director User Guide, you can get a list of supported guestOSes, but it does not translate to the API identifiers that is needed when provisioning a VM in vCloud Director.

The list of supported guestOS types are stored in the vCloud Director database and you can extract the guestOS IDs if you have access to the database or a DBA that manages the database. Using the following SQL query, you can get the list of supported guestOSes that includes the API ID and description. Since the list of guestOSes are inserted upon installation, I have already captured the output for a default vCloud Director 1.5 instance for your reference.

Disclaimer: This SQL query is not supported by VMware nor should you directly access the vCloud Database as a best practice without the consent of VMware Support.

In this example, I am querying the list of default guestOSes from a vCloud Director 1.5 instance that was installed on Oracle XE database.

First you need to set several environmental variables for your respective ORACLE_HOME, ORACLE_SID and update your PATH variable (your paths will vary based on your installation + OS):

[[email protected] ~]# export ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe
[[email protected] ~]# export ORACLE_SID=XE
[[email protected] ~]# export PATH=$ORACLE_HOME/bin

Next we will login using sqlplus and you will need to know the username and password of the vCloud Director database that was configured during installation:

[[email protected] ~]# sqlplus "vcloud/vcloud"
SQL*Plus: Release Production on Tue Nov 1 19:30:24 2011
Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle. All rights reserved.
Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Express Edition Release - 64bit Production

Before we execute the query, we need to set a few parameters to help with the readability of the output:


Now we are ready to execute the SQL statement:

SQL> select internal_name||' == '||display_name from guest_os_type order by display_name;

Note: I am not a SQL expert nor DBA, I am sure there are other variations of formatting.

Here is a screenshot of the execution above:

The list of supported default guestOS types in vCloud Director 1.5 is 80:

guestOS Identifier guestOS Descriptioin
asianux3Guest Asianux 3 (32-bit)
asianux3_64Guest Asianux 3 (64-bit)
asianux4Guest Asianux 4 (32 bit)
asianux4_64Guest Asianux 4 (64 bit)
centosGuest CentOS 4/5/6 (32-bit)
centos64Guest CentOS 4/5/6 (64-bit)
dosGuest DOS
debian4Guest Debian GNU/Linux 4 (32-bit)
debian4_64Guest Debian GNU/Linux 4 (64-bit)
debian5Guest Debian GNU/Linux 5 (32-bit)
debian5_64Guest Debian GNU/Linux 5 (64-bit)
debian6Guest Debian GNU/Linux 6 (32 bit)
debian6_64Guest Debian GNU/Linux 6 (64 bit)
freebsdGuest FreeBSD (32-bit)
freebsd64Guest FreeBSD (64-bit)
win2000AdvServGuest Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
win2000ProGuest Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
win2000ServGuest Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
win31Guest Microsoft Windows 3.1
windows7Guest Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit)
windows7_64Guest Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
win95Guest Microsoft Windows 95
win98Guest Microsoft Windows 98
winNTGuest Microsoft Windows NT 4
winNetDatacenterGuest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit)
winNetDatacenter64Guest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (64-bit)
winNetEnterpriseGuest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit)
winNetEnterprise64Guest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (64-bit)
winNetStandardGuest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit)
winNetStandard64Guest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (64-bit)
winNetWebGuest Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
winLonghornGuest Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32-bit)
winLonghorn64Guest Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)
windows7Server64Guest Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
winNetBusinessGuest Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
winVistaGuest Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit)
winVista64Guest Microsoft Windows Vista (64-bit)
winXPProGuest Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit)
winXPPro64Guest Microsoft Windows XP Professional (64-bit)
netware5Guest Novell NetWare 5.1
netware6Guest Novell NetWare 6.x
os2Guest OS/2
oesGuest Open Enterprise Server
oracleLinuxGuest Oracle Linux 4/5/6 (32 bit)
oracleLinux64Guest Oracle Linux 4/5/6 (64 bit)
otherGuest Other (32-bit)
otherGuest64 Other (64-bit)
other24xLinuxGuest Other 2.4x Linux (32-bit)
other24xLinux64Guest Other 2.4x Linux (64-bit)
other26xLinuxGuest Other 2.6x Linux (32-bit)
other26xLinux64Guest Other 2.6x Linux (64-bit)
otherLinuxGuest Other Linux (32-bit)
otherLinux64Guest Other Linux (64-bit)
rhel2Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2
rhel3Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (32-bit)
rhel3_64Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (64-bit)
rhel4Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (32-bit)
rhel4_64Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (64-bit)
rhel5Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (32-bit)
rhel5_64Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (64-bit)
rhel6Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (32-bit)
rhel6_64Guest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (64-bit)
openServer5Guest SCO OpenServer 5
openServer6Guest SCO OpenServer 6
unixWare7Guest SCO UnixWare 7
eComStationGuest Serenity eComStation 1
eComStation2Guest Serenity eComStation 2
solaris10Guest Sun Solaris 10 (32-bit)
solaris10_64Guest Sun Solaris 10 (64-bit)
solaris11_64Guest Sun Solaris 11 (64 bit)
solaris8Guest Sun Solaris 8 (experimental)
solaris9Guest Sun Solaris 9 (experimental)
sles10Guest Suse Linux Enterprise 10 (32-bit)
sles10_64Guest Suse Linux Enterprise 10 (64-bit)
sles11Guest Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (32-bit)
sles11_64Guest Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (64-bit)
slesGuest Suse Linux Enterprise 8/9 (32-bit)
sles64Guest Suse Linux Enterprise 8/9 (64-bit)
ubuntuGuest Ubuntu Linux (32-bit)
ubuntu64Guest Ubuntu Linux (64-bit)

If you have ever worked with the vSphere API, you will notice the guestOS API IDs are exactly the same as the guestOS Identifiers found in the vSphere API. vSphere 5 supports a total of 105 guestOSes and 80 of those are supported in vCloud Director.

A feature request has already been submitted to be able to query for the list of supported guestOSes using the vCloud API. For now, this is another way of retrieving API guestOS identifier without having to manually create each guestOS type through the web interface and query for the identifier.

One thought on “Extracting GuestOS IDs From vCloud Director

  1. Hi William,

    Thanks for you post and sharing this information,
    I got any other question in my mind, let say I want to extract the list of all RHEL VMs from the vCloud director.
    Is there any specific variable can be used to filter the RHEL VMs ?

    Many thanks

Thanks for the comment!

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