Where is the base kickstart "ks.cfg" file in the new vSphere ESXi 4.1?

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I'm looking to customize an unattended install for VMware vSphere ESXi servers.
First of, I'd like to know the new location where the ks.cfg file placed when created after installation.
Also, I'd like to know if there is a big difference in the commands used in the kickstart in the new version 4.1 and on an ESXi which is service-console-less.

(I'm aware of the Tech Support ssh ability)


Question by:xperttech
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    I would guess that depends on your install media. If you have a large number of servers to deploy you might want to look at the vmware labs fling pxe manager

    Good Luck
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    I will have no more than 10 ESXi hosts. All identical initially --I guess. Most likely I would create one or two kisckstart script versions and use CD boot and USB or HTTP to retrieve the script.

    The PXE Manager looks overkilled for such small deployment.

    Still, my main question: Where is the initial KS.CFG file on an ESXi 4.1?
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    You specify the path to ks.cfg as a boot command. Take a look at chapter 5 in

    For an example tutorial on a scripted install see
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    So, the answer is "no more ks.cfg file" ???
    Just read the PDF guide and there is no mention of a base kickstart file. The only mentions I see are backing up configuration files.

    Expert Comment

    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    Actually there is (and / or) can be a ks.cfg. On pp. 36 it talks about the default:

    "Default ks.cfg Script
    The ESXi installer includes a default installation script that performs a standard installation to the first hard drive. The default ks.cfg script is located at /etc/vmware/weasel/ks.cfg. To run the default, press Tab on boot menu, and type ks=file:path to file."

    On pp. 37 it goes on to detail all of the possible ks.cfg commands.

    Then chapter 5 (mentioned above) talks about how to specify the location for you ks.cfg. It can be:

    Performs a scripted installation with the script at <path>, which resides on the CD in the CD-ROM drive.

    ks=file://<path> Performs a scripted installation with the script at <path>, which resides inside the initial ramdisk image.

    ks=<protocol>://<server><path> Performs a scripted installation with a script located at the given URL. <protocol> can be http, https, ftp, or nfs.

    ks=usb Performs a scripted installation with the default script (ks.cfg file), which resides on USB.

    ks=usb:/<path> Performs a scripted installation with the script file at specified path, which resides on USB.

    There are also options for ip address, ksdevice, netdevice, etc.

    So to maybe more explicitly answer the question:  The default ks.cfg script is located  at  /etc/vmware/weasel/ks.cfg, but in practice if you have a custom script it will be specified via a boot option at one of the locations above.
    LVL 5

    Author Closing Comment

    I guess this path exists in the installation disc. I don't have that path on my ESXi 4.1 host. But this is what I was looking for. Question answered!

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