How to Create Customization Specifications for VMWare Templates.

Well we just went over how to create a template lets create a Customization Specification to Speed up some of the based install tasks

Creating a Customization Specification can be done as a one off thing when deploying a Template or you can create a Specification so your company standard is set from the beginning. Some of the most common uses of this is to set the Windows Server Name, Windows licensing, and Joining a domain.

In this post I’ll show you how to create a customization and how to use it.

Login in vCenter Server and on the Home page you should see Customization Specification Manager in the middle of the page.


Click on Customization Specification Manager to get started.

As you can see by default the table is empty. If you created a customization while deploying a virtual machine and opted to save it, then it will be listed here. In my case this is a new install of vCenter and I have not created any customization yet.


Underneath the vCenter Server drop down menu there is 2 icons click the one on the Left to start the Customization Specification Wizard.


On The first page, we start with the basics. OS, Name and Description. Since we just created a Server 2012 Datacenter Template I’m going to create a Customization Specification to use with that Template.


I’ve filled out the basic information for the first page. If you are developing templates with Windows Answer Files you can check the box and use your answer file with VMWare customization specifications. To do that is out of the scope of this post but it is a possibility if you are interested.

Click Next to go to the next step.

The Registration Information Page goes back to the Server 2000 and Server 2003 days where you had to specify Name and Organization as a part of the Windows Installation. You can fill it out or skip it.


Click Next to Continue.

The Computer Name Section is one of the best parts of Customization Specifications. In my production environment, the Virtual Machine Name is the same as the Windows Server Name. On this page you can set it to automatically Set the name for you.


On this Page you can set the names to match like I have or if you have a different naming structure between VMWare and Windows you can set that here as well. I’ve selected to set the Windows Server Name to the same name as the virtual machines.

After you’ve made your selection click Next to continue.


On the Enter Windows Licensing Page you can supply the Key code to use if you are still in a Server 2000 or 2003 environment (I hope not) you can specify the licensing type as well.

Sorry I’m not handing out my datacenter keycode to the internet


Click next to continue.

On the Set Administrator Password Page. If you want to change the local Administrator account password to be something different then what is in the template. You can do that here.


Also, you maybe have to set the password and select the auto login process for some automation policies to work. I do it to make sure that everything works correctly.

On the Time Zone page select your time zone for the virtual machine and click Next.


On the Run Once Page you can add commands or commands to run scripts that are specific to your environment.


I don’t have any of those so I’m going to click Next to continue.

On the Configure Network Page you and choose whether to set a Static or DHCP address on all or some of the network interface cards on the VM.


In the TDSheridanLAB we don’t have a special pool or anything set up so I’m going to leave it set to the Default First Selection and click Next to continue.

On the Set Workgroup or Domain page I’ve opted to have vCenter join the virtual machine to Active Directory Domain.


You just have to supply the domain name, username, and password and vCenter will take care of the rest.

*Note* In a Production environment the account used to join a virtual machine to the domain should be a service account with a strong password.

On the Set Operating System Options page vCenter has Generate New Security ID (SID) checked by default.


If your template is not joined to an Active Directory Domain then this part doesn’t matter because it will get regenerated when you join it to the domain. If your Template is joined to an Active Directory domain then it is very important to keep this box checked. Active Directory does not like duplicate SIDs for servers.

It will not hurt anything to generate a New SID so I say leave it checked and click next.

On the Ready to Complete page, the wizard give you an over view on what you’ve selected so far


If you see any errors, click on Back to go to the section that is incorrect. If your good to go, click Finish to save the Customization Specification.

After you click Finish, you’ll see it listed in Customization Specification Manager.


In the next post, I’ll show you how to use the Customization Specification when deploying a new template.


If you missed the post on creating templates. Click Here