I rebuild my systems very frequently, especially with testing the UDA to add new options to my %post scripts. One thing I like, after pressing F12 and starting install, is to close down the ILO on my HP servers and have the kickstart script send me message when all the work is done.

To do this, I use the smbclient to send “net send” style messages to my Windows terminal. This works within my Citrix sessions, which I use to manage my personal VDC (Virtual Data Center) and with my Windows XP Professional laptop. For this to work, the messenger service in Windows must be enabled; for security reasons this is not always enabled. The kickstart script below goes in the “esxcfg.sh” section of the script, at the very end (for obvious reasons!). It first registers the netBIOS name of the Windows Terminal (in my case MF1 for metaframe1), temporarily opens the firewall to allow the smbclient,  and sends the message (using a < redirect to automate the smbclient). Once the message has been sent, I then reset the system, resetting the hosts file, and removing the temporary message.txt file

# End of Build Message to Management System
cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts.bak
echo mf1 >> /etc/hosts
esxcfg-firewall -e smbClient
echo ESX Host: esx4.vi3book.com has completed the build process > /tmp/msg.txt
smbclient -I -M mf1 < /tmp/msg.txt
esxcfg-firewall -d smbClient
rm /tmp/msg.txt -f -r

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mv -f /etc/hosts.bak /etc/hosts

This was first published in June 2007

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