AHV Windows Templates



As of AOS 5.1, Nutanix AHV supports the following Windows guest operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016
  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit releases only)

Uploading Installation Media

Open https://<NUTANIX-CLUSTER-IP>:9440 in your browser to access Prism. Log in as a user with administrative priveleges.


Click the Settings icon and select Image Configuration from the drop down menu.


Click Upload Image and fill out the following fields:

  • Name - Nutanix VirtIO drivers - This serves as the display name for the image being uploaded
  • Annotation - This is an optional field that is helpful for designating additional information about an image, such as version or filename
  • Image Type - ISO - This field differentiates a mountable CD-ROM image used for installing an OS from a cloneable disk image of a pre-installed OS
  • Storage Container - <Default Storage Container> - This field specifies which Nutanix storage container to which the image will be uploaded
  • Image Source - Images can either be uploaded from your local filesystem or can be obtained directly from a remote webserver

Click Save and wait for the image upload to Complete.


Once prompted that the image was successfully created, click Upload Image to upload your desired OS .iso image.


Once prompted that the image was successfully created, click Close.


Creating a Virtual Machine

Click Home in the navigation bar and select VM from the drop down menu.


Click + Create VM and fill out the following fields:

  • Name - The display name of the VM being created, often confgiured to match the VM hostname
  • Description - An optional field that is helpful for designating additional information about a VM, such as purpose or installed applications
  • vCPUs - The number of virtual sockets presented to the VM
  • Number of Cores per vCPU - The number of cores per virtual socket
  • Memory - The amount of RAM presented to the VM in GB

Under Disks, click the Pencil icon of the pre-populated CD-ROM drive.


Fill out the following fields and click Update:

  • Operation - Clone From Image Services
  • Bus Type - IDE
  • Image - Select the Windows installation .iso you uploaded to the Image Service

Under Disks, click Add New Disk. Fill out the following fields and click Add:

  • Type - CD-ROM
  • Operation - Clone from Image Service
  • Bus Type - IDE
  • Image - Select the Nutanix VirtIO drivers .iso you uploaded to the Image Service

Under Disks, click Add New Disk. Fill out the following fields and click Add:

  • Type - DISK
  • Operation - Allocate on Storage Container
  • Bus Type - SCSI
  • Storage Container - The storage container on which the virtual disk will be created
  • Size - The size of the virtual disk in GiB


All virtual disks created on AHV are thin provisioned.


Select Boot Device for the CD-ROM device mounting your Windows installation media.


Under Network Adapters (NIC), click Add New NIC. Select a network from the VLAN Name drop down menu and click Add.


Click Save.


Installing Windows

In Prism > VM > Table, select the VM you’ve created and click Power on from the actions menu below the VM table.


Once the VM is powered on, click Launch Console to access your VM.


You may need to allow pop-ups in your browser for the VM console to appear.


Proceed with Windows installation. When prompted for installation location, select Load driver.


Browse for the Nutanix VirtIO CD Drive and select the folder appropriate OS and architecture. Click OK.


Select all available drivers and click Next.


Select your virtual disk (Drive 0) and click Next.


Complete the Windows installation. In Prism > VM > Table, select the VM you’ve created and click Update. Click the Eject icon next to each of the CD-ROM devices to unount your OS and VirtIO .iso images. Click Save.


Installing Nutanix Guest Tools

In Prism > VM > Table, select the VM you’ve created and click Manage Guest Tools. Select Enable Nutanix Guest Tools and Mount Nutanix Guest Tools. Click Submit.


Nutanix Guest Tools can also be mounted programmatically with nCLI. Using nCLI or connecting to <NUTANIX-CLUSTER-IP> via SSH:

> ncli vm list | grep <VM-Name> -B 2
> ncli ngt mount vm-id=<VM-Id>

In your VM console, log in and launch setup.exe for the Nutanix Guest Tools installation.


Accept the End User Licensing Agreement and click Install.


Complete the installation, click Close and reboot the VM.


Nutanix Guest Tools can also be installed silently via command line using the following syntax:

DRIVE:\> setup.exe /quiet ACCEPTEULA=yes


If you’re prompted by the BIOS that the boot volume cannot be found, ensure your scsi.0 disk is now configured as the Boot Device.


Updates and Sysprep

At this point you can patch your template image and install any other applications you’d like to include in your base disk image.

Following any patching or application installations, the next step in creating the template is to generalize the VM with Sysprep. In your VM console, open Command Prompt as Administrator and run the following command:

> sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown

Copying Template to Image Service

Once the template VM has powered off following sysprep, we want to push the associated disk image to the Image Service for our cluster. Using an SSH client, execute the following:

> ssh nutanix@<NUTANIX-CLUSTER-IP>
> acli
<acropolis> image.create <IMAGE-NAME> clone_from_vmdisk=vm:<VM-NAME>:scsi.0 image_type=kDiskImage annotation="<IMAGE-ANNOTATION>"

Verify in Prism that the image is available and in an Active state.