Configure a guest customization method for an unsupported Linux distribution
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Configure a guest customization method for an unsupported Linux distribution


Article ID: 313164


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


Linux guest OS customization fails on a Linux distribution that is not officially supported by VMware guest OS customization.

This article explains how to configure compatibleCustomizationMethod to enable guest OS customization for some unsupported Linux distributions. 


vSphere 8.0 Update 3


The customization problem occurs because VMware guest OS customization does not recognize the unsupported Linux distribution and therefore does not know how to customize it.


If an unsupported Linux distribution is designed as 100% compatible with a supported Linux distribution such as Red Hat or Ubuntu, it can be customized with an existing customization method.
A predefined customization method mapping table is published with each vCenter releases.


Currently there is no resolution. This will be resolved in the future release.


To workaround the issue, please use the predefined customization method names:

GOSC METHOD ID Compatible OS Distro
"GOSC_METHOD_1" RHEL / CentOS / OracleLinux 7.x - 8.5
"GOSC_METHOD_2" SLES 12 and above
"GOSC_METHOD_3" Debian 8.x – Debian 10.x
"GOSC_METHOD_4" Ubuntu 17.x – Ubuntu 19.04
"GOSC_METHOD_5" Ubuntu 19.10 - Ubuntu 23.04
"GOSC_METHOD_6" Debian 11.x and above
"GOSC_METHOD_7" RHEL / CentOS / OracleLinux / RockyLinux / AlmaLinux 8.6 - 8.8
"GOSC_METHOD_8" RHEL / CentOS / OracleLinux / RockyLinux / AlmaLinux 9.x and above
"GOSC_METHOD_9" Ubuntu23.10 and above

Note: Choose the supported method according to the vCenter releases running in the environment.

Two ways to apply an existing customization method:

  1. Set compatibleCustomizationMethod in Linux guest OS customization specification and use the specification to customize a new Linux OS. Currently compatibleCustomizationMethod can be set by vAPI or Vim but not by the vSphere UI.
  2. Create /etc/vmware-tools/customization.conf in guest OS and configure customization method by setting COMPATIBILITY to the appropriate GOSC METHOD ID. For example, to set the customization method to GOSC_METHOD_1, add the following to customization.conf:


If a customization method is specified in both ways, the method specified in /etc/vmware-tools/customization.conf supersedes the one in the guest OS customization specification.

Note :-
The open-vm-tools maintainer for new Linux OS distributions is expected to include /etc/vmwaretools/customization.conf in their open-vm-tools package with the customization method set appropriately.
If such a file is not included, or the customization method is not set, contact the 3rd party distributions to get the issue addressed.