VMware Tools default ‘Typical’ install is likely a better choice than ‘Complete’ for your lab’s golden image template

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 5 2015 (updated on Jan 5 2015) in
  • ESXi
  • Windows
  • If you're in the midst of tackling Build your own VMware vSphere 5.5 Datacenter with ESXi and vCSA in your home, you'll likely have questions about best practices around creation of your "Golden Master" template.

    For client OSs like Windows 8.1, a lot of those questions are likely already answered at TinkerTry here:

    Using ESXi 5.5 to create “Golden Master” Windows 8.1 template VM with ease-of-use tweaks for your lab
    by Paul Braren on Oct 17 2013

    Perhaps you're thinking of putting everything into your VMware Tools install, "just in case" you choose to use those other features at some point. Turns out that'd likely be a bad idea, particularly for Windows VMs.

    Turns out the is a very good reason to avoid the Complete install of VMware Tools, as outlined by VMware in KB 2034490
    Degraded Windows network file copy performance after full ESXi 5 VMware Tools installation (2034490)

    Symptoms
    After a full install of the ESXi 5 VMware Tools:
    Copying files to or from a CIFS share takes considerably longer than before the install.

    [article updates below added Jan 26 2015]

    This issue has been addressed in later updates long ago, as pointed out by Arend Pronk here, which I had somehow missed.

    I still haven’t found compelling reasons to do anything other than the default Typical install in my home lab. Of course, you may have your own reasons for doing a complete or custom install, just watch carefully for any side-effects you didn’t anticipate, or unnecessary bloat in the memory footprint of your golden master.

    See also

    VMware Tools complete install: it’s not always the best choice
    by Luca Del'Oca

    Build your own VMware vSphere 5.5 Datacenter with ESXi and vCSA
    by Paul Braren Sep 30 2013

    Superguide: VMware vSphere
    by Paul Braren May 17 2013

    Using ESXi 5.5 to create “Golden Master” Windows 8.1 template VM with ease-of-use tweaks for your lab
    by Paul Braren on Oct 17 2013