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How To Install VMware vCloud Director 5.1 & 1.5 From Beginning to End

Check the latest release:

How To Install vCloud Director on RHEL 6.2 - No GUI


I check my website statistics to see why people visit my website. Often times, there is a google search for "how to install vCloud Director" and it points to my SQL installation. There isn't a good spoon feeding step-by-step guide so I figured it was about time. I'm all about some good help and I love detailed instructions. So I'm trying to build the complete guide.


This is going to be a semi-long post because the process of doing most of these tasks are pretty well documented, but not screen capped. I'm also giving credit to the authors of many of these steps because it's what I use personally to do installs. I am not going to cover design considerations or anything the pertains to the operations of vCloud Director.


I would suggest downloading this document now because it's key to have and know parts of this. VMware vCloud Installation and Configuration Guide 1.5


Step 1. (Optional) Create a vApp for your vCloud Director Management VMs. I say this is optional because some people would prefer not to worry about the resource being a factor. I like to put all my vCloud Management VMs in a vApp because I can then control the startup and shutdown policy to make sure everything is brought up in a consistent manner. I only use this in my home lab, do not use for production use.



Step 2. Prepare the environment.

Part A. Database. For an Oracle setup, you're on your own because I don't do Oracle, sorry. Though, since vCloud Director 1.5 supports Microsoft SQL Server, it makes my life much easier. Follow the step by step Installing vCloud Director 1.5 With SQL Server 2008.

Part B. DNS and IPs. Each vCloud Director Cell will need, at minimum, 2 IP addresses. The DNS names associated with those are going to be for the https request and the vmrc.  so and Repeat this for as many cells as you have. In this case, we will be using 2 cells for redundancy. You may need an additional IP/DNS addition for your cells if you plan on publishing your portal to the internet. See step 3 for the information.

Part C. Syslog. vCloud Cells have the capability to export syslogs. Make sure you have a syslog server setup prior to installation.


Step 3. Create your vCloud Cell VMs. This should be simple so some steps will be skipped. Create a New VM and make sure it is Custom. Give it a definable name and place it in a folder accessible to you. When choosing a Resource Pool to place your VM, place it the in the vApp we created in Step 1. Set the Guest Operating System to Red Hat Linux 5 64-bit. I guess this is a good time to make sure you have Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 5 Update 4, Update 5, or Update 6 (or known as 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 & 5.7 as of vCloud 1.5.1) ISO. These are the ONLY supported Red Hat versions with vCloud Director 1.5


I tend to set the vCPU count to 4. It can probably be set to 2, but I choose 4 because I don't see any harm and it will utilize NUMA. For any home lab, this can be set to 1 vCPU.


There is no rhyme or reason around the RAM count as well, but I set the RAM amount to 4GB for a production vCloud Cell. In my home lab, it's set to 2GB and runs well.


When it comes to the Network Adapters, I always create 3. The reason, is because if you ever decide you want your vCloud Cells to have a public facing web-portal, 3 interfaces easily get the job done. Read Hany's article Publishing the vCloud Director portal on the Internet and you will understand why. Even if you don't plan on publishing on the internet, it still makes sense to create 3 NICs, but keep 1 disconnected. In this scenario, I'm only going to need two because I'm creating a portal only accessible via internal. 1 NIC is dedicated to VMRC (VMware Remote Console Proxy), while 1 NIC is dedicated to HTTP/HTTPS, vCenter, NFS, and more communications. You could easily break that 2nd NIC out and utilize the 3rd, but it depends on your environment


(updated 7/6/12) You may need to use 3 adapters because if your NFS server is on a Layer 2 network, you will not have access through adapters set on a normal VM Network portgroup. Set the first two adapters to VM Network portgroups that have L3 capabilities. 1 NIC is responsible for HTTPS, while the 2nd NIC is responsible for ConsoleProxy. The Third NIC needs to be attached to your NFS portgroup and you will need to assign IP addresses accordingly to connect to the NAS Gateway in the Layer 2 network. This solution also allows you to set the MTU of packets going through this adapter to 9000 so you can take advantage of Jumbo Frames on the NFS network. You can optionally create a 4th NIC for publishing on the internet.


From here you can select all the defaults to complete the VM. If you are curious about the VM Hard Disk requirement, a typical install doesn't exceed 7GB, so the default of 16GB will be sufficient.


Step 4. Install the OS. Mount your REHL5.x ISO to your VM and begin the installation. Press Enter to Install in GUI mode.


skip the media check


Welcome to the installation wizard. Click Next to Start


select your language and keyboard layout. on the next screen, enter your installation number, but if you don't have it, it can be entered later. You do not need the installation number to complete the vCloud Director installation.


Go ahead and proceed as a normal linux install. Hit the green button to delete partitions, accept the defaults of creating a default layout and click next, Select YES on choosing to remove all partitions, and now comes the networking part. In step 3, you should have decided how many NICs are going to be active in this configuration. In Step 2, you defined DNS/IPs for these 2 or 3 interfaces and now we need to assign them based on the port group selection for the NIC in step 3. Edit the settings for eth0 and assign the appropriate IP. In my case, I'm going to assign eth0 as my HTTP/HTTPS, vCenter, and NFS traffic point IP. I disable IPv6 because it's not needed.


for eth1, make sure "Active on boot" is checked because it can be a pain to activate via CLI once installation is completed. Enter in the IP information needed for eth1 which will be our VMRC. Set the Host name to something that will be used by eth0 traffic and assign appropriate gateway and DNS server addresses. If you are going for the 3 NIC approach and having a public portal, follow Hany's guide for creating routing and gateway tables in Publishing the vCloud Director portal on the Internet.


Select a Time Zone and click next. Create a root user password. This password is actually very important because the installation as well as restarting vCD services on the cell requires root access.


Do not select any more dependencies to install, keep the defaults, and click finish to complete our installation.


Now we are in the second phase of the setup. Click Ok at the welcome screen and also accept the license agreements on the following screen.


We are going to come back to the firewall setup at a later time but for now lets keep it at enabled and remove any standard services, by default only SSH is turned on.


I also tend to set SELinux to Permissive because I don't know much about it.



For the KDUMP settings I leave it set at default. Change the date and time settings for a local time and also add in your NTP server. For the software update section, you can skip unless you want to run updates for your licensed copy. The user creation portion is based on personal preference. I tend to setup users as local because I'm not heavily proficient with doing AD Authentication against Linux boxes. If you feel comfortable enough with the AD route, have it at. Just remember, the root password is the critical account because that's what's needed for software installation. Click Next against the sound card and next against additional software and finish the installation.


Step 5. Install VMware Tools on your RHEL VM. A standard part of every virtual machine with VMware.  Log in to your new VM and start the VMware Tools install process


You will now have the CD mounted onto the desktop, open the folder and you will see a .tar.gz file.


Right click on the file an hit Extract To


Keep the defaults and press Extract.


Open up a terminal session by going to Applications -> Accessories  -> Terminal. Get to the root by typing in su and the root password. Then use the cd command to change directories of where the extracted folders live and begin the install process by typing ./


From here, keeping pressing Enter/Return and accept all the defaults except change the resolution you would like to have.


After the install completes, go to system and Reboot.


Step 6. Configure Firewall Settings. Now that we have our RHEL OS installed, it's time to set some firewall settings. Follow vCloud Director 1.5 RHEL Firewall Settings to set the level of security in your RHEL OS for the services that you intend on running.


Step 6.5 (optional: updated 7/6/12): Download and install the VMware Public Key. From KB 2005832: The installation file for vCloud Director 1.5 is digitally signed to secure your environment. To install the product, you must verify the signature by downloading and installing the VMware public key in your environment.


To download and install the VMware public key:


Obtain and import the VMware Packaging Public Keys.
Create a directory to store the VMware Packaging Public Keys.
Use a web browser to download all of the VMware Public Packaging Public Keys from the directory.
Save the key files to the directory that you created.

For each key that you download, run this command to import the key:

# rpm --import /key_path/key_name

Where  key_path is the directory in which you saved the keys and key_name is the filename of a key



Step 7. Download or transfer the vCloud Installation .bin file. This should be fairly straightforward. Go to the download page and download the .bin file to your desktop. Another option is to download the .bin file and burn it to an ISO and mount the ISO to the VM if you have to do this multiple times.


Step 8 (vCloud 5.1) . Install the RPM.

vCloud 5.1 has made the installation much easier. in previous installations, we had to start and stop the installation to get the components in place. now it's as simple as a RPM install. download the 2 RPMs to your desktop. you must install as a root or admin user

rpm -i vmware-vcloud-director-rhel-5.1.0-*buildnumber*.x86_64.rpm

rpm -i vmware-vcloud-director-5.1.0-*buildnumber*.x86_64.rpm


that's it. very simple to get the pieces in place

Step 8 (vCloud 1.5 and 1.5.1) . Start and stop the vCloud Installation. I'll be honest, I haven't figured out the trick to this yet. I'm not part of VMware or vCloud PSO so this is just how I've done my installs thus far... To make sure the rest of proceeding components are in place, and to actually install vCloud Director, the installation process needs to be started, but not finished. This process will put in the necessary mount points and jre components for SSL creation. Before we start, we need to make the .bin file executable using the chmod u+x action. Make sure you are the root user using su then perform a chmod u+x vmware-vcloudxxx.bin.


Begin the installation by executing ./vmware-vcloudxxx.bin and when it asks to run the script, enter N then press enter to exit out of the installer


Step 9. Mount a NFS datastore or location as a transfer repository. The transfer repository plays a lot of key roles and also has some design considerations as pointed out by Chris Colotti in his 3 part series of the Clone Wars. Design aside, the transfer location is responsible for components of the vCloud cells themselves and all must share a common space. I follow Chris Colotti's tutorial Load Balancing Considerations for vCloud in the section titled Configuration Requirements For Multiple Cells. Make sure your NFS server allows the IP from your cell (all depends on the IP assigned earlier) to access the share.

nano /etc/fstab

add this entry on the bottom line

IP_of_NFS_Server:/path/mount /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer nfs   intr   0 0

in my case it is: /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer {space} nfs {tab} intr {tab} 0 {space} 0



Change the permissions of the transfer folder. by default, root is assigned and we need vcloud to be assigned. chown -R "vcloud:vcloud" /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer


Reboot the VM and watch the startup process by clicking the show details button to watch it. There will be a NFS process that runs. If it turns red, you need to tweak the previous mount point because it errored out. If it's all green, the mount was successful.


you can also make sure the mount worked by going to the directory and creating a file.


(updated 7/6/12) If you do not want to reboot the VM, you can do a "sudo mount -a" to reload fstab.


Step 10. Create the SSL Certificates. This is for creating self-signed certificated. If you want to do CA Certificates, consult the VMware vCD Install guide. I prefer this blog article called Generating vCloud Director 1.5 SSL certificates that makes creation easier.

You will need to run these two commands

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/jre/bin/keytool -genkey -keystore 
/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/certificates.ks -storetype JCEKS -storepass passwd -keyalg RSA -validity 731 -alias http

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/jre/bin/keytool -genkey -keystore
/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/certificates.ks -storetype JCEKS -storepass passwd -keyalg RSA -validity 731 -alias consoleproxy

This command places the certificates.ks, which will be needed during install and used by other cells places in our central NFS repository.


Step 11. Continue the installation. Lets go back to the terminal application and we will continue the installation by doing cd /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin {enter} ./configure.


Assign the correct IP addresses to the HTTP and Console Proxy. This is part of the design process we discussed earlier.

Type in the directory of the certificates.ks location which will be in /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/certificates.ks

Type in the password assigned from step 10. my example was "mysecretpw"

Type in the IP address of the syslog server. If you use something different than the standard UDP port 514, type it in. If not, then skip.

It's time to connect to the database. Type in 2 for SQL Server setup. Enter IP/DNS of SQL Server, the name of the database, the local user account and password and watch it run.

Press Y to start the vCloud Services


Congrats! You're still not done :)


Step 12. The file is located in /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc and is used by all vCloud Director cells and needs to be protected in a secure location. Since the NFS transfer director is only accessible by the vCloud Cells, it's secure enough for me. We first need to verify that it has the the correct ownership with vcloud:vcloud, if it doesn't, then chown it like we did in step 9. Then copy the file to the NFS share cp /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer.


Step 13. Adding additional cells. Now that we have most of the ground work done, we can easily add more cells. Get another VM setup with RHEL following steps 3-7. Once you have the .bin file on your desktop we need to follow some of the same install steps as before.

chmod u+x vmware-vcloudxxxx.bin


press N to cancel the install

follow the entirety of step 9 to mount the NFS share and chown ownership to vcloud, reboot

no we can cd /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin

./configure -r /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/transfer/

Choose your network adapters to associate with HTTP and Console Proxy

You can try to start the services, but they may fail. If you reboot, the services will be back once again.


Step 14. Setting up Sysprep for Windows Guests. I've made a package for this in my VM Advanced ISO. Download the VM Advanced ISO, mount it to your first vCloud Cell and transfer over the vCloud Sysprep Files to your desktop


run the following command on your folder

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/deploymentPackageCreator/ /home/username/Desktop/02-vCloudSysprep


now we need to copy sysprep files to each of our vCloud Cells so do this for every cell

scp /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/guestcustomization/ /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/guestcustomization/ root@next_cell_IP:/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/guestcustomization


for every cell this was copied to, we need to restart the VM. Simply reboot.


Step 15. Setup vShield Manager. This is a very simple process. Download the vShield Manger appliance and deploy the OVF into your vCloud Management Cluster. Open up the console of the VM and enter the username admin and password default, then type enable, type default as the password, and then type setup. Enter the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway that enables communication to the vCenter Server. Once that is done, you can access the Web GUI of vShield manager by navigating to the IP address we gave it and changing the admin username from default to something more secure. Do not attach it to a vCenter server, vCloud does this for you. With 5.1, we need to attach our vCenter server instance to vCNS. This is also a good time to start setting up VXLAN. VXLAN setup can be found here. At this point we are done. You can license it on the vCenter server after vCloud does it's thing.


Step 16. Setup Load Balancing (optional). Now that we have redundancy for 2+ nodes, we need to define a load balancing technique. Depending on your load balancer, this will vary. But you can follow these tutorials:

How To Setup Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager / Zeus Load Balancer for VMware vCloud or View - Kendrick Coleman

How To: Configure vCloud Director Load Balancing - Chris Colotti

Using F5 to balance load between your vCloud Director cells - Duncan Epping

HTTP Load Balancing with vCloud and vShield Edge - Justins IT (not for this but cool for applications inside vCloud)


Step 17. Start Configuration! Congrats, you've completely setup vCloud Director, head on over to the IP address done in step 17 or go directly to a vCloud Cell IP and begin your setup and configuration!



Some things I didn't show was how to install CA Signed certificates or use the VMware Key for digitally signed downloads. Configurations are all dependent on your environment.


Now that you're done here, read on for more topics:

VMware vCloud Director Networking - From Setup to Install

vCloud Director 1.5 Features That Affect Limitation and Design

How To Deploy a VM or vApp from vCloud Director

Playing with CSS and vCloud Director



If there is anything else I missed or I did incorrectly, I'm sure I'll see it in the comments from my vCloud buddies.

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