On the occasions when an ESX Server fails—or more likely, when you have to restart it on another physical machine to reconfigure your site—the last thing you’ll want is to have to step through the complex startup process manually. It’s slow and error-prone, and practically negates the value of virtualizing your servers in the first place. Nearly every site, therefore, automates the startup. VMware uses a tool created by Red Hat named Kickstart to allow the bulk installation and startup of ESX. To run the Kickstart script you have to make some changes to ESX’s configuration in VMware 3.5, however, because running scripts is disabled by default. This chapter therefore starts by showing you how to enable scripts, and then goes on to show what you can do with Kickstart.
As of version 3.x, VMware does not support scripted installation with the ESXi version of its ESX product, so the recipes in this chapter will not work if you are using that version.
VMware 3.5 ESX Server, by default, does not allow scripted installations and must be reconfigured before you can work through the other recipes in this chapter.
Edit your configuration file to enable scripted installations and restart your ESX Server.
Scripted installations are controlled by a configuration file in the Tomcat web server. To change the default, power on your ESX Server, log into the console, and change to the webapps/ui/WEB-INF ...