I’m very excited to announce the new vibauthor fling. This fling is hot off the press and provides the capability to create custom vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs). Prior to this fling the VIB authoring tools were only available to VMware partners, this fling now extends this capability to everyone.
There are a couple of use cases for creating custom VIBs. For example, if you are using Auto Deploy and you need to add a custom firewall rule to your host, or you need to make a configuration change that can’t be made using Host Profiles.
One word of caution however, the ability to create custom VIBs does come with some responsibility. If you plan to create your own VIBs here are a few things to keep in mind:
- VIBs provided by VMware and trusted partners are digitally signed, these digital signatures ensure the integrity of the VIB. Custom VIBs are not digitally signed. Be careful when adding unsigned VIBs to you ESXi hosts as you have no way of vouching for the integrity of the software being installed.
- Before adding a custom VIB you will need to set your host’s acceptance level to “Community Supported”. When running at the community supported acceptance level it’s important to understand that VMware support may ask you to remove any custom VIBs. Here’s the formal disclaimer:
“IMPORTANT If you add a Community Supported VIB to an ESXi host, you must first change the host’s acceptance level to Community Supported. If you encounter problems with an ESXi host that is at the CommunitySupported acceptance level, VMware Support might ask you to remove the custom VIB, as outlined in the support policies:”
If you are not familiar with VIBs I recommend you start with a quick review of this blog: http://blogs.vmware.com/esxi/2011/09/whats-in-a-vib.html
With that, I know several folks have been chomping at the bit to create their own custom VIBs so I’ve attached a short tutorial that shows how to use the vibauthor tool to create a VIB to add a custom firewall rule.