To customize the guest operating system, you must configure the virtual machine and guest to meet VMware Tools and virtual disk requirements. Other requirements apply, depending on the guest operating system type.

The current version of VMware Tools must be installed on the virtual machine or template to customize the guest operating system during cloning or deployment.

The guest operating system being customized must be installed on a disk attached as SCSI node 0:0 in the virtual machine configuration.

Customization of Windows guest operating systems requires the following conditions:

Microsoft Sysprep tools must be installed on the vCenter Server system. See Installing the Microsoft Sysprep Tool.

The ESXi host that the virtual machine is running on must be 3.5 or later.

Guest operating system customization is supported on multiple Windows operating systems.

Customization of Linux guest operating systems requires that Perl is installed in the Linux guest operating system.

Guest operating system customization is supported on multiple Linux distributions.

To verify customization support for Windows operating systems or Linux distributions and compatible ESXi hosts, see the VMware Compatibility Guide. You can use this online tool to search for the guest operating system and ESXi version. After the tool generates your list, click the guest operating system to see whether guest customization is supported.