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VMWare has a feature when creating new VMs called Easy Install, that will show you a small wizard asking you the minimum things needed and then will install the entire OS without you needing to do anything.

When installing Ubuntu server, it only asks you the details of the default user (Full name, username, password and repeat password) and then installs ubuntu with the default options and packages.

I'd like to know if I can tell it to install some extra packages, run custom commands before finishing the installation or using another apt repository than the default one.

BTW if it matters, I'm using VMware Player 5.0.0 on Ubuntu 11.10 amd64, and I'm planning to install Ubuntu 11.10 amd64 server as a guest.

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2 Answers 2

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I don't think there is any way to customize the Easy Install option, but you can perform a regular install to make the changes you need. When creating the virtual machine you will need to select the option "I will install the operating system later".

Once the VM has been created, right click on it in the menu and select "Virtual Machine Settings..." from the pop-up menu. Next, click on "CD/DVD (IDE)" in the left pane, then "Use an ISO image file:" in the right pane and browse to your ISO file.

Now when you power on the VM it should automatically boot from the ISO file and perform a regular install, which will allow you to make additional customizations.

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I thought so :( Well, then I'll prepare a preseed file for the installation to automate it... –  Carlos Campderrós Oct 29 '12 at 13:47
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I'm totally pasting this so its probably wrong-ish but you can find the location of the easy install iso and modify it. VMware has a command

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\mkisofs.exe

or

/usr/lib/vmware/bin/mkisofs

Apparently Linux system versions of the command may not do the right job

mount -o loop  /apps/vmware/a1/autoinst.iso /mnt/vmtest
cp -Rf /mnt/vmtest/* /where/ever

# On windows just use 7zip or something to extract iso.

Modify ks.cfg, google for more help here.

cd into /where/ever

/<pathto VMware's>/mkisofs -o 'autoinst.iso' -b 'isolinux/isolinux.bin' -c 'isolinux/boot.cat' -no-emul-boot  -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table 'boot'

I knew about this cause I tried it ages ago but this is a shameless paste/hack of https://communities.vmware.com/thread/292368

It may be all wrong but they said to use the VMware mkisofs.

I'm making this a wiki so someone can make right any mistakes but read the link if for real world example.

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Maybe make a backup of the original autoinst.iso –  sabgenton Jun 19 at 3:58
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