The OVF datasource provides a datasource for reading data from an Open Virtualization Format ISO transport.

Graceful rpctool fallback#

The datasource initially attempts to use the program vmware-rpctool if it is available. However, if the program returns a non-zero exit code, then the datasource falls back to using the program vmtoolsd with the --cmd argument.

On some older versions of ESXi and open-vm-tools, the vmware-rpctool program is much more performant than vmtoolsd. While this gap was closed, it is not reasonable to expect the guest where cloud-init is running to know whether the underlying hypervisor has the patch.

Additionally, vSphere VMs may have the following present in their VMX file:

guest_rpc.rpci.auth.cmd.info-set = "TRUE"
guest_rpc.rpci.auth.cmd.info-get = "TRUE"

The above configuration causes the vmware-rpctool command to return a non-zero exit code with the error message Permission denied. If this should occur, the datasource falls back to using vmtoolsd.

Additional information#

For further information see a full working example in cloud-init’s source code tree in doc/sources/ovf.