Guest Customization Specification and why you should use it

When you clone a VM you have the option of selecting Guest Customization if you have it configured correctly. In order to understand why you should use the Guest Customization Specification, you must first understand what it does:

  • Windows
    • Configure the Windows Registration Information
    • Configure the unique Windows Computer Name
    • Configure the Administrator password
    • Configure the IP, DNS, WINS and other network configuration settings
    • Join a newly created virtual machine to the Windows Domain of choice
    • Configure the Windows virtual machine to obtain a new unique Windows Security Identifier (SID)
    • Configure the Windows Product Key
    • Configure the desired Time Zone
    • Configure any custom scripts to be run upon first time login
  • Linux
    • Configure the unique Linux Computer Name
    • Configure the IP, DNS and other network configuration settings

With this information, you can begin to see the importance of the Guest Customization Specification. Without it, you run the risk of having:

  • Duplicate IP addresses on the network
  • Duplicate hostnames on the network
  • Permission problems with files and directories (Windows only)

In addition, the Guest Customization Specification automates a lot of processes that would otherwise need to be manually completed after cloning a new system. This includes:

  • Licensing
  • Logging into the new system for the first time
  • Joining a domain
  • Running one-time scripts

Expect to see more posts about Guest Customization Specification in the future!

© 2010, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

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