Nutanix Guest Tools: Unattended installation

Nutanix Guest ToolsWith the release of AOS 5.0 one of the many features we added was the unattended (silent) installation of the Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT). This might seem like something small but for most of us out there automation is king so I took the time to have a quick go to see how easy the install is.


The Nutanix guest tools (NGT) is the Nutanix equivalent to the VMware Tools, Microsoft Integration Services or XenTools. It’s a bundle of software that can be installed into the VM operating system to enable some additional functionality. 

The NGT has a couple of components that are used for the following services:

  • Nutanix Guest Agent (NGA) service. Communicates with the Nutanix Controller VM.
  • File Level Restore CLI. Performs self-service file-level recovery from the VM snapshots. 
  • Nutanix VM Mobility Drivers. Facilitates by providing drivers for VM migration between ESXi and AHV, in-place hypervisor conversion, and cross-hypervisor disaster recovery (CH-DR) features.
  • VSS requestor and hardware provider for Windows VMs. Enables application-consistent snapshots of AHV or ESXi Windows VMs. 
  • Application-consistent snapshot for Linux VMs. Supports application-consistent snapshots for Linux VMs by running specific scripts on VM quiesce.

You can mount the NGT from PRISM or via CLI, via Prism you can mount the NGT via the following menu:


Via CLI you can execute the following command:

Until now the installation of the NGT was a manual job and with multiple VMs depending on these services. With the newest release this is no longer needed, the NGT are now ready to be installed unattended. The setup itself is straightforward, either download the package from our support site or mount the NGT and copy the files/folders from the mounted CD-ROM drive.  After that you can execute the following command to have a quiet/unattended installation of the NGT:

Looking at the cmdline it’s not too complicated, the only specific switch is the location of the logfile, if you don’t apply that the logs for the installation will be directed to %TEMP%. 

Executing this command will result in the installation of the Nutanix Guest Tools and the Nutanix VM Mobility:

Screen Shot 2016-12-23 at 10.48.27

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.


  1. NTNXUser5000 says:

    I cannot find the package to download through the Nutanix portal. Do you know where to download that?

    • k.baggerman says:

      You can download it from your cluster, it’s not published on our portal as of now.

      • NTNXUser5000 says:

        Understood. Are you referring to the process of mounting the NGT to the VM through the CD drive? Or is there a place to actually download the .iso to my work computer?

  2. Gerhard says:

    This Article named “Unattended installation”. So i try to do this with MS SCCM. But this Ends with Error 1603 “Fatal Error during Installation”. The Installation source is …\sccmcache\nn\sorce.
    The same tried in user context (not SYSTEM), same result.
    Mount the ISO Image and execute the same command with the CD as source, it works.
    So this is not an unattended Installation, i think.

    Is there a tip for scripted Installation without mounting CD?

    • k.baggerman says:

      I mounted the ISO, copied the files from there into a folder and did the unattended install from there.

      • Gerhard says:

        Which Version you are using?

      • Dirk says:

        That realy works the way you describe it.
        But if you unmount the tools cd before and then start the installation from another directory unfortunately it doesn’t work: “Error 0x80070643: Failed to install MSI package”.
        Can you please try this also, I think there is a bug in the installer?!

        • k.baggerman says:

          I’ve got some more info on this, this is part of the design of NGT. The NGT secures the internal traffic based on a computer based cert, that cert is generated at CD-ROM mount, obviously when you copy off the install files from the mounted CD-ROM you won’t be able to create a specific computer based certificate and the install will fail. There’s attention for that internally to see how we can fix this.

  3. Helpdesk says:

    We got an alert from our rmm tool that NGT service is in stopped status. Will it cause any impact. We are not able to start this service from mmc. Please advise.
    We are using server 2016 VM to host this service.

    • k.baggerman says:

      It might depend on the services you’re using from NGT, best is to open a support ticket with our SRE team to evaluate the situation.

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