Editing virtual machine and host custom attributes, notes and annotations
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Editing virtual machine and host custom attributes, notes and annotations


Article ID: 311762


Updated On:


VMware vCenter Server VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides steps to edit the custom attributes and annotations of a virtual machine or host.


VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware VirtualCenter 2.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware vCenter Server 5.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware vCenter Server 4.1.x
VMware vCenter Server 5.5.x
VMware vCenter Server 4.0.x
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware vCenter Server 5.1.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware VirtualCenter 2.5.x
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x


You can use custom attributes to associate your own information with the resources in VirtualCenter. After you create the attributes, set their values on each virtual machine or managed host, as appropriate. The values are stored with VirtualCenter. You can then use the new attributes to filter information about your virtual machines and managed hosts. If you no longer need the custom attribute, remove it. A custom attribute is always a string.

You can also add annotations to a virtual machine to add a description or other comments about the virtual machine or host.

You can set custom attributes for a virtual machine or host from the object's Summary tab. You can also define Global attributes, which are not specific to a particular type of managed object. For more information on defining Global attributes, see Using Custom Attributes in the Basic Administration Guide.

Custom attributes have these conditions:
  • VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client must be connected to VirtualCenter or the ESX host.
    Note: You can add annotations when connected to either VirtualCenter Server or to any host, but you can only define attributes when connected to VirtualCenter Server.
  • Minimum required privileges:
    • Global > Manage Custom Attributes
    • Global > Set Custom Attributes
    • Virtual Machine > Configuration > Rename​​​​​
    • Virtual Machine > Configuration > Set Annotation
To edit custom attributes and annotations for a virtual machine or host:
  1. Select the virtual machine or host in the inventory.
  2. Click the Summary tab for the virtual machine or host.
  3. In the Annotations box, click the Edit link.
  4. To add an attribute:
    1. Click Add.
    2. In the Name text box, enter the name of the attribute.
    3. In the Type drop-down list, select the attribute type.
    4. In the Value text box, enter the value to give to the attribute for the selected object.
    5. Click OK.

      After you define an attribute on a single virtual machine or host, it is available to all objects of that type in the inventory. However, the value you specify is applied only to the selected object.
  5. To edit the value of an attribute that is already defined, double-click the Value field for that attribute and enter the new value.
  6. To add annotations, enter text in the Notes text box.
  7. Click OK to save your changes.

Additional Information