Image Builder and Auto Deploy Powerpack

Recently with vSphere 5 VMware enabled you to deploy the ESXi image via PXE boot to your hosts, to do this you need some PowerCLI knowledge.  Now just because I find PowerCLI easy to use and a great product it doesn’t mean the next person will.

Luckily PowerGUI gave us a great way to add an MMC style interface back on top of the cmdlets, this is called a Powerpack.

The Image Builder and Auto Deploy Powerpack is a PowerGUI Powerpack which enables us as VMware admins to have a graphical interface to Image Builder and Auto Deploy which are currently released as PowerShell snap-ins only.

The Powerpack contains a variety of scripts which will allow you to harness the power of custom ESXi images and stateless deployment.

What Do I need ?

In order to use this Powerpack you will need the following:

  • PowerShell V2
  • PowerCLI 5.0 or later version
  • PowerGUI
  • Download the Powerpack from below



Here is a short video which shows you the basics of how to import the Powerpack and how to use it.


Automatically update

To see how to import a Powerpack and how to make sure you always have the latest version check this post here:

How can I contribute ?

Please add comments to this post if something doesn’t work or you have any ideas on how to make it better – remember this is an initial release !




Alan Renouf has a role of Automation Frameworks Product Manager at VMware responsible for providing the architects and operators of the cloud infrastructure with the toolkits/frameworks and command-line interfaces they require to build a fully automated software-defined datacenter. Alan is a frequent blogger at and has a personal blog at You can follow Alan on twitter as @alanrenouf.

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8 Responses

  1. Frank Shepherd says:

    Does all of this have to be prepared directly on the vCenter server itself? I’m building this on another server at the moment, and “Get-ESXImageProfile” on my vCenter server seems to have no idea that I’m prepping these packages.
    (Oh, and great utility, btw!…Making life much easier, on the whole…thanks)

  2. Robert says:

    Hello –
    I was wondering if the issue that Doug was having has been resolved. I’m having the same problem. Since it is listed in the Software Packages tree item on the left, does that mean it has been added?

  3. Doug says:

    Neat tool. Too bad I beat my forehead flat trying to figure this stuff out without your tool. :(

    A couple of thoughts
    1. Can you provide the option to “Connect As” when connecting to the vCenter server?
    2. When adding file system objects to the packager, can you provide a “Browse” button?
    3. I would like to be able to either clone an image or start with an empty one and drag packages to it. The image profile would preferably be a child node under Image Profiles in the tree control on the left.

    Also, I am getting an error adding packages to an image:
    Cannot validate argument on parameter ‘SoftwarePackage’. The argument is null or empty. Supply an argument that is not null or empty and then try the command again. (Add-EsxSoftwarePackage) At line: 11 char: 63

    After I clone my base profile and select “List Software Packages” and try to add one, this error appears, and the package is not added to the cloned profile, but does show up when I select the Software Packages tree item on the left.

    The package(s) I am trying to add are the HP BL460c G7 components found here:

  1. September 15, 2011

    […] this PowerCLI stuff is not your cup of tea I would like to suggest to check out Alan Renouf’s brand new PowerPack. Alan has GUI’fied the most common tasks which will enable you to click and point […]

  2. September 27, 2011

    […] can get this PowerPack from this page. You can read more on Alan’s post here, and as you will see, there is also a short video on how to use it. A quick quote from his […]

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