Short tip: VMware vSphere 6.7 Guest Customization and openSUSE Leap 15.2

When automatically customizing openSUSE 15.2 guests under VMware vSphere 6.7 recently, I stumbled upon the famous "Guest Customization failed" issue (once again).

After eliminating the most common error (not having Perl installed which is necessary) I had a look at the VMware Compatibility Guide. Looks like openSUSE 15 is officially not supported under vSphere but only under the desktop hypervisors:

openSUSE is not supported under VMware vSphere

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15, which is technically comparable is supported on the other hand:

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15.2 is supported under VMware vSphere

Changing the operating system type configured for the VM has no effect on the issue at all. Having a deeper look at the appropriate log file (/var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.log) listet the following issue:

1INFO: Getting hostname
2DEBUG: Command '/sbin/uname -a'
3DEBUG: Result:
4DEBUG: Exit Code: -1
5ERROR: Fatal error occured during customization !! Customization halted.
6ERROR: Error: Customization Failure !! Unknown distribution. at /var/run/.vmware-imgcust-d2asUMq/scripts/ line 107.
8INFO: Return code is 255.

I compared two openSUSE and SLE 15 systems and spotted a difference between them regarding the file /etc/issue. openSUSE lists the following:

1Welcome to \S - Kernel \r (\l).

While under SLE 15 the file has the following content:

1SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15

Changing the file content like for SLE 15 fixed the problem. Keep in mind that this is no official solution - even though openSUSE might become SLE upstream project in the future.

My expectation is that VMware realizes the changes between openSUSE and SLE and extends official support.