Image profiles define the set of VIBs that an ESXi installation or update process uses. Image profiles apply to hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy and to other ESXi 5.x hosts. You define and manipulate image profiles with the Image Builder PowerCLI.

You can create a custom image profile from scratch or clone an existing profile and add or remove VIBs. A profile must meet the following requirements to be valid.

Each image profile must have a unique name and vendor combination.

Each image profile has an acceptance level. When you add a VIB to an image profile with an Image Builder PowerCLI cmdlet, Image Builder checks that the VIB matches the acceptance level defined for the profile.

You cannot remove VIBs that are required by other VIBs.

You cannot include two versions of the same VIB in an image profile. When you add a new version of a VIB, the new version replaces the existing version of the VIB.

An image profile and its VIBs must meet several criteria to be valid.

Image profiles must contain at least one base VIB and one bootable kernel module.

If any VIB in the image profile depends on another VIB, that other VIB must also be included in the image profile. VIB creators store that information in the SoftwarePackage object's Depends property.

VIBs must not conflict with each other. VIB creators store conflict information in the SoftwarePackage object's Conflicts property.

Two VIBs with the same name, but two different versions, cannot coexist. When you add a new version of a VIB, the new version replaces the existing version of the VIB.

No acceptance level validation issues exist.

When you make a change to an image profile, Image Builder checks that the change does not invalidate the profile.

Dependency Validation

When you add or remove a VIB, Image Builder checks that package dependencies are met. Each SoftwarePackage object includes a Depends property that specifies a list of other VIBs that VIB depends on. See Structure of ImageProfile, SoftwarePackage, and ImageProfileDiff Objects

Acceptance Level Validation

Image Builder performs acceptance level validation each time an image profile is created or changed. Image Builder checks the acceptance level of VIBs in the image profile against the minimum allowed acceptance level of the profile. The acceptance level of the VIB is also validated each time the signature of a VIB is validated.

When you export an image profile to an ISO, Image Builder validates each VIB by performing the following actions.

Checks that no conflicts exist by checking the Conflicts property of each SoftwarePackage object.

Performs VIB signature validation. Signature validation prevents unauthorized modification of VIB packages. The signature is a cryptographic checksum that guarantees that a VIB was produced by its author. Signature validation also happens during installation of VIBs on an ESXi host and when the Auto Deploy server uses VIBs.

Checks that VIBs follow file path usage rules. VMware tests VMwareCertified and VMwareAccepted VIBs to guarantee those VIBs always follow file path usage rules.