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In previous post we have already see how add custom drivers to an ESXi installation ISO and how use ImageBuilder to make custom ESXi ISO, but in other cases you may need to define some custom settings during the installation or add custom vib files.

Booting from CD is not the only way, but custom ISO could be used also for boot from USB or for boot from virtual devices (like the iDRAC or ILOE).

In case you need to build custom ISO with custom option this post could help you: How to Create Bootable ESXi 5 ISO & Specifying Kernel Boot Options. If you need to build an ISO with custom driver the fastest (but unsupported) way remain ESXi-Customizer. The supported way is ImageBuilder.

With vSphere 6.0 something has changed: the legacy ESXi-Customizer may or may not work (see the authour post: because I won’t update it anymore).

But when it comes to installing custom drivers or creating customized installation ISO, other ways still works:


But in most cases you can avoid those type of problem at all: using the vendor customized ISO is one way to have most of new vendor related drivers.

In vSphere 5.x there were also the rolling updated images but those may included also unproven drivers (or in some special cases may create some issues). Actually in ESXi 6.0 there aren’t (yet) those kind of images, but only the vanilla or the vendor specific images.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.