Demo: VMware Tools Guest Content Distribution

Demo: VMware Tools
Guest Content Distribution

VMware Guest Content Store


Manufacturing Control Network

(Image Source:

vSphere 7 U2 was released on March 9, 2021. You can find the release post here. Update 2 is a huge release with many impressive features for customers. When you have the time, I suggest reading the VMware post or watching this great in-depth VMware video. One of the features that stood out for me is "Guest Content Distribution". The ability to distribute files to (Windows) VMs from a cluster datastore without VM network access. Some of my customers are in Manufacturing and their vSphere clusters are cut off from production networks in "Manufacturing Control Networks". Guest Content Distribution could be helpful to them, so I thought I would get my hands on the feature, see if this new feature actually worked, and how hard the feature is to implement.


Datastore Browser

The commands to make all this magic happen are pretty simple and you will see them in action in the recorded demo. In pseudo-code:
  • On a vSphere 7U2 host in a cluster
    • ssh root@host
    • mkdir /vmfs/volumes/[datastore name]/guest_store
    • mkdir /vmfs/volumes/[datastore name]/guest_store/files
    • copy some files to /vmfs/volumes/[datastore name]/guest_store/files
    • esxcli system settings gueststore repository set --url "ds:///vmfs/volumes/[datastore_name]/guest_store"
    • esxcli system settings gueststore repository get (to confirm)
  • On a Windows VM residing on the vSphere 7 U2 cluster
    • C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\VMwareToolBoxCmd.exe gueststore getcontent /files/[some_file] C:\Users\[username]\Documents\[some_file]
    • (file will be pulled to the VM without using the network)


Simple and cool, right? Here is a short video of yours truly doing this live and without a net. Enjoy.

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you have found the information helpful and enjoyable. I welcome your feedback.