To set up a host provisioned with Auto Deploy to boot from disk, you must configure a host profile. You can apply that host profile to other hosts that you want to set up for stateful installs.

You can configure the host profile on a single host. You can also create a host profile on a reference host and apply that host profile to other hosts.

Make sure that your host is configured for Auto Deploy and that you meet other prerequisites for stateful installs. See Prepare Hosts Provisioned with Auto Deploy for Stateful Installs.


In the vSphere Web Client, create a host profile.

See the Host Profiles documentation.


With the host profile object displayed, click the Edit host profile settings icon.


Leave the name and description and click Next.


Click Advanced Configuration Settings and click the System Image Cache Configuration folder.


Click the System Image Cache Configuration icon.


In the System Image Cache Profile Settings drop-down menu, make your selection.



Enable stateful installs on the host

Caches the image to a disk.

Enable stateful installs to a USB disk on the host

Caches the image to a USB disk attached to the host.


If you select Enable stateful installs on the host, specify information about the disk to use.



Arguments for first disk

By default, the system attempts to replace an existing ESXi installation, and then attempts to write to the local disk.

You can use the Arguments for first disk field to specify a comma-separated list of disks to use, in order of preference. You can specify more than one disk. Use esx for the first disk with ESX installed on it, use model and vendor information, or specify the name of the vmkernel device driver. For example, to have the system first look for a disk with the model name ST3120814A, second for any disk that uses the mptsas driver, and third for the local disk, specify ST3120814A,mptsas,local as the value of this field.

Check to overwrite any VMFS volumes on the selected disk

If you click this check box, the system overwrites existing VMFS volumes if not enough space is available to store the image, image profile, and host profile.


Click Finish to complete the host profile configuration.


Apply the host profile with the vSphere Client, the vSphere Web Client, or the vSphere PowerCLI.



vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client

To apply the host profile to individual hosts, use the host profiles interface of the vSphere Client or the vSphere Web Client. See the Host Profiles documentation.

vSphere PowerCLI

To apply the host profile to one or more hosts by using PowerCLI, see Assign a Host Profile to Hosts.