Enable Auto Deploy on vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6

Many customers are now converting over to use the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 since vSphere 6 has reached feature parity with the Windows vCenter Server.

For those of you who are new to using the appliance, I figured I would walk you through setting up the Auto Deploy portion of the server.

First you must deploy the vCenter Server Appliance if you have not done so already. If you are deploying it in this step, I suggest setting the “enable SSH” checkbox to true, this will minimize the number of additional tasks you will need to perform to enable Auto Deploy.

Enable Auto Deploy Service

The vCSA automatically installs Auto Deploy within the appliance, however, it is disabled by default. You can enable the service either through the Web Client (preferred method) or through SSH.

Enabling Auto Deploy through the Web Client

To enable the Auto Deploy service through the web client, you will need to login and select “Administration” from the menu. Then select “System Configuration

Screenshot 2015-03-31 07.49.41

Select Services from the menu

Screenshot 2015-03-31 07.49.56

Select “Auto Deploy” from the Services Menu. Click the Actions drop-down menu and click Start. This will enable the Auto Deploy service.

sScreenshot 2015-03-31 07.50.17

Enabling Auto Deploy through SSH

  1. Connect to the vCSA via Putty. Login with the ROOT account, not your SSO administrator account



2. Enable BASH Access: “shell.set –enabled True

Shell Enable

3.Launch BASH: “shell

ShellloggedIn Shell

You can get a list of all of the services by typing: “service –status-all”. We want to enable the vmware-rbd-watchdog service. You can enable the Auto Deploy (vmware-rbd-watchdog) service by typing: service vmware-rbd-watchdog start” The service will then be enabled and you can continue the rest of the configuration from the vSphere Client of your choice.

vmware-rbd-watchdog Service


If you use this method, be sure to disable the Shell after you have started the Auto Deploy service.

Web Client Configuration

In the web client, drill down to your vCenter. Once selected, click the “Manage” tab, Under Settings, Select “Auto Deploy

WebClient AutoDeploy

Desktop Client Configuration

If you are doing this in the Desktop Client (well, you shouldn’t be anymore…) you would go to “Plug-ins” and select “Manage Plugins”. Right-click on Auto Deploy and select “Enable”. You will then see the Auto Deploy icon on the Home screen.

Desktop Client

Clicking on the Auto Deploy icon will give you the configuration values needed for configuring DHCP to allow for iPXE boot

iPXE info

Stay tuned for configuring the DHCP server…