The BLPackage editor allows you to manually modify the contents of a BLPackage.
With the BLPackage editor, you can add or delete objects, including software packages, move objects within the hierarchy, change the value of some types of objects, add external commands, and make many other modifications to the objects included in the package. You can insert parameters to represent information that is likely to change between servers. You can also add local properties to the BLPackage itself and then use parameters to refer to those properties (see Adding a local property to a BLPackage). Local properties are particularly valuable when deploying multiple instances of the same BLPackage to a single server.
To learn more about the BLPackage editor, see the following sections:
BLPackage editor interface
The interface for the BLPackage editor appears in its own tab. You can open multiple BLPackages, each on a separate tab, and edit them concurrently.
Each BLPackage tab includes at least two sub-tabs: Package and Local Properties. The Package tab displays information about each server object included in the BLPackage. The Local Properties tab displays information about the properties associated with the BLPackage. You can use this tab to assign properties that apply to this BLPackage but are not available globally throughout the rest of the system.
The Package tab is divided into two panes. The left pane shows a hierarchical tree structure that represents the server objects included in the BLPackage. A symbol on each object indicates whether you are adding, deleting, or modifying the object. When you select an object in the hierarchy view, the attributes associated with that object display in the right pane.
Paths in BLPackages
When editing paths to server objects, you can include one or more parameters in the path. These parameters refer to properties on the target server or the BLPackage itself. For example, instead of using a path like /C/Windows/System32, you could enter
/??TARGET.WINDIR??/System32, allowing this server object to apply to multiple Windows platforms. For more information about parameters, see Inserting a parameter. Also, you may want to see a discussion of the rules that apply when entering paths.
BLPackages and custom configuration objects
If you are editing a BLPackage that references a custom configuration object and a more recent version of that object exists, a third tab called Version Warnings appears when the BLPackage cannot be automatically upgraded to refer to the new object. In cases where the BLPackage is automatically upgraded to the new version, the console displays a message informing you of that fact. When you save the BLPackage, the upgrade to the new version of the custom configuration object is finalized.
- When packaging configuration options for VMware servers, many options are mutually exclusive or have dependencies on other configuration options. Take care not to deploy configuration options that are inconsistent. If necessary, refer to the VMware administration documentation for more details.
- One common use for BLPackages is to clone virtual servers. If you are using a BLPackage for this reason, remember to edit the name of the server so it is unique. (You cannot have two virtual machines with the same name, even when those virtual machines reside on different virtual host servers if those servers are managed within the same VMware vCenter.) You may also want to edit options defining storage locations and networking information for the cloned server.
- If you create a BLPackage from audit results, you should be aware of how the system treats configuration files that contain multiple name/value pairs with the same name. In some circumstances the system treats each name/value pair as a separate entry in the configuration file. Consequently, in some situations BLPackage instructions include instructions to ADD and DELETE configuration file entries rather than MODIFY existing configuration file entries. For more information, see Audit results for configuration files.
- When using a BLPackage to move a virtual machine from one resource pool to another, structure the BLPackage so it first deletes the virtual machine from one resource pool and then adds it to another resource pool. Structuring the BLPackage in this way allows a rollback to delete the virtual machine from its new resource pool and add the virtual machine back to its original resource pool.
When creating a BLPackage that contains information for a virtual machine, do not edit the number of virtual processors. Deploying a change like this can make a virtual machine unstable.
Procedures related to editing BLPackages
When editing a BLPackage, you can perform any of the following procedures:
- Opening a BLPackage to edit
- Changing object attributes in a BLPackage
- Adding a local property to a BLPackage
- Moving an object within a BLPackage
- Cutting and pasting in a BLPackage
- Ordering software within a BLPackage by dependency
- Deleting an object in a BLPackage
- Providing password information in a BLPackage
- Finding and replacing text in a BLPackage
- Adding content to a BLPackage
- Creating an RPM group
- Creating an asset group
- Commenting out assets
- Verifying assets in a BLPackage
- Closing the BLPackage editor