Holodeck 5.1.1: Download Software & Create Custom ISO

Stage Software to Build Host


This section details downloading and staging software components on the Build host used bootstrap the Holodeck deployment. 


To complete this section, you will need the following:

A Microsoft Windows Server 2019-based system with 

  • Internet access
  • Local access to Holodeck ESXi hosts
  • Minimum of 200 GB of free space available


The Holodeck Toolkit is a non-supported tool that deploys VMware Cloud Foundation in a nested environment. While this configuration works for testing and demo, it is not supported by VMware GSS. Use of this software is at your own risk. This software should only be used in a non-production lab environment. 

Download the Required Software

Upon completion of this task, all the required software will be downloaded in preparation for the creation of the Holo-Console ISO image

Access the Holodeck Toolkit Intake Form

  1. Navigate to Holodeck Toolkit Intake Form (https://forms.gle/bczQFcWHBHBuA4SH6) via link
  2. Complete the intake form
  3. Follow the link in the intake form to download the Holodeck-Standard-Main5.1.1.zip file to C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads

Download remaining software to the Holo-Build host

Download the following packages to C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads

 Microsoft Server 2019 Desktop Experience (Eval copy with 6 month expiration)

 Latest VMware VMTools package (download VMware Tools for Windows, 64-bit in-guest installer; uncompress the file and put the exe file directly into the Downloads directory) support link

Google Chrome Standalone

Download standalone EXE package using “Need the Chrome installer? Download here” link

 Latest VMware PowerCLI zip file

Requires PowerCLI 13 or higher

 Latest VMware PowerVCF zip file

 Latest VMware Power Validated Solutions Module zip file

 Latest PuTTY SSH Client MSI

 VMware OVFtool 4.6.2 

Requires Broadcom Support login

Download 64 Bit Windows Installer ** Must use OVFTool 4.6.2 MSI file, not zip **

 VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1.1 Cloud Builder OVA 

Requires Broadcom Support login

 Notepad ++ 8.5.4

 VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle 8.16.0 Easy Installer for Aria Automation 8.16.2  

Requires VMware CustomerConnect login



Edit Custom Configuration Files for Holo-Console ISO Creation


Interaction with the VLC Holodeck Standard configuration is done through a virtual machine referred to as the Holo-Console. This VM is a specifically configured Microsoft Windows Server 2019 based VM deployed inside the Holodeck instance. Each Holodeck instance deployed must contain one Holo-Console.  In these steps configuration files are introduced and edited to ensure the correct file names are being called and any additional files wanted in every console are also being called.

Unzip VCF Lab Constructor

  1. Unzip  holodeck-standard-main5.1.1.zip in the C:\Users\\Administrator\Downloads directory

Edit the Configuration Files

Various configuration files are required to be edited to match the specific environment.


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Configure createISO.ps1

  1. Navigate to C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\holodeck-standard-main5.1.1\holodeck-standard-main\Holo-Console
  2. Open createISO.ps1 (In these examples Notepad ++ is used)
  3. Validate the filenames in the default createISO.ps1 match what you have downloaded. In cases where newer versions of files are downloaded, update filenames in createISO.ps1.



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  1. Leave the license key fields blank in release 5.1.1 for VCF evaluation mode
  • esxLicense (vSphere)
  • nsxLicense (NSX)
  • vcLicense (vCenter Server)
  • vsanLicense (vSAN)
  1. The last set of variables is the default for the Holodeck configuration and should not be changed.
  2. Save createISO.ps1


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Validate createISO.ps1 customization files

Notepad++ is copied into the ISO using the additionalfiles.txt customization file. If you are using a version of Notepad++ other than 8.5.4 it will need to be updated here. This customization file also copies the SDDC Commander custom wallpaper and PowerShell script to do the customization into the console. This is a very handy feature if you need to make files available in each deployed console.


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Notepad++ is deployed in the Holo-Console using the additionalcommands.bat customization file. Commands placed here are run at the very last step of automated Holo-Console deploy. If you are using a version of Notepad++ other than 8.5.4 update the installer filename here. Also note that files placed in the ISO are accessible at %WINDIR%\Setup\Scripts\ when this script is run. This is also a very handy feature for customizing your Holo-Console deployment.


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Create Holo-Console ISO and Stage ISO


 PowerShell Automation is used to create a custom ISO that will provide a complete hands-off deployment of Holo-Console.  

Create ISO

The following steps are performed to create the Holo-Console ISO

Holo-Console ISO Creation

  1. Open a PowerShell window NOTE: Ensure you open a 64 bit PowerShell session versus an X86 session.
  2. Change directories to C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\holodeck-standard-main5.1.1\holodeck-standard-main\Holo-Console
  3. Run .\createISO.ps1

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The final file size with Cloud Builder and VRA Easy Installer in the ISO is approximately 60GB. This file takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to generate. The ISO file generated is located under C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\holodeck-standard-main5.1.1\holodeck-standard-main\Holo-Console with a filename similar to “CustomWindows-XXXXXX.iso

  1.  Rename the ISO to something more descriptive. In this example we use Holo-Console5.1.1.iso


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Staging of Holo-Console ISO to ESXi Host

The following steps are performed move the ISO to ESXi local storage.

Upload the Holo-Console ISO File

  1. Using the vSphere Web UI, connect to the ESXi server
  2. Select an appropriate datastore with enough spare capacity to host the Holo-Console custom ISO image
  3. Open the Datastore Browser for the selected datastore
  4. Select Upload
  5. Select the Holo-Console5.1.1.iso file (or your custom name) under C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\holodeck-standard-main5.1\holodeck-standard-main\Holo-Console


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  1. Due to file size, this can take 15 minutes or more
  2. Wait for the upload to complete successfully
  3. Close the Datastore Browser



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