»vSphere Post-Processor

Type: vsphere

The Packer vSphere post-processor takes an artifact and uploads it to a vSphere endpoint. The artifact must have a vmx/ova/ovf image.


There are many configuration options available for the post-processor. They are segmented below into two categories: required and optional parameters. Within each category, the available configuration keys are alphabetized.


  • cluster (string) - The cluster or host to upload the VM to. This can be either the name of the cluster, or the IP address of the esx host that you want to upload to.

  • datacenter (string) - The name of the datacenter within vSphere to add the VM to.

  • datastore (string) - The name of the datastore to store this VM. This is not required if resource_pool is specified.

  • host (string) - The vSphere host that will be contacted to perform the VM upload.

  • password (string) - Password to use to authenticate to the vSphere endpoint.

  • username (string) - The username to use to authenticate to the vSphere endpoint.

  • vm_name (string) - The name of the VM once it is uploaded.


  • esxi_host (string) - Target vSphere host. Used to assign specific esx host to upload the resulting VM to, when a vCenter Server is used as host. Can be either a hostname (e.g. "packer-esxi1", requires proper DNS setup and/or correct DNS search domain setting) or an ipv4 address.

  • disk_mode (string) - Target disk format. See ovftool manual for available options. By default, "thick" will be used.

  • insecure (boolean) - Whether or not the connection to vSphere can be done over an insecure connection. By default this is false.

  • keep_input_artifact (boolean) - When true, preserve the local VM files, even after importing them to vsphere. Defaults to false.

  • resource_pool (string) - The resource pool to upload the VM to.

  • vm_folder (string) - The folder within the datastore to store the VM.

  • vm_network (string) - The name of the VM network this VM will be added to.

  • overwrite (boolean) - If it's true force the system to overwrite the existing files instead create new ones. Default is false

  • options (array of strings) - Custom options to add in ovftool. See ovftool --help to list all the options


The following is an example of the vSphere post-processor being used in conjunction with the null builder and artifice post-processor to upload a vmx to a vSphere cluster.

You can also use this post-processor with the vmx artifact from a vmware build.

  "builders": [
      "type": "null",
      "communicator": "none"
  "post-processors": [
        "type": "artifice",
          "type": "vsphere",
          "keep_input_artifact": true,
          "vm_name": "packerparty",
          "vm_network": "VM Network",
          "cluster": "123.45.678.1",
          "datacenter": "PackerDatacenter",
          "datastore": "datastore1",
          "host": "123.45.678.9",
          "password": "SuperSecretPassword",
          "username": "Administrator@vsphere.local"


The vsphere post processor uses ovftool and therefore needs the same privileges as ovftool. Rather than giving full administrator access, you can create a role to give the post-processor the permissions necessary to run. Below is an example role. Please note that this is a user-supplied list so there may be a few extraneous permissions that are not strictly required.

For Vsphere 5.5 the role needs the following privileges:


And this role must be authorized on the:

Cluster of the host
The destination folder (not on Datastore, on the Vsphere logical view)
The network to be assigned
The destination datastore.