/Deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue

Deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue

In this deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue I will talk about an issue, personally a bug, in vCD 10.2x.

In previous versions of vCD, when deploying vCloud Director, after we add our domain, the parameter domain search path is not mandatory. And why is that, because vCD will assume our domain as its first domain path search.

Important Note: This issue is only triggered if you are not using DHCP in your vCloud Appliance.

As VMware states in their documentation (for 9.7, 10.1, or 10.2 all the same):

Note:The domain name that you entered in the Domain Name text box is the first element in the domain search path list

So if we add the domain, the domain search path option is optional. But or not anymore and is mandatory, and VMware needs to clearly state that in documentation, or is a bug in this 10.2.x version.


To fully test this issue, I tested in the following versions.

  • VMware_vCloud_Director- – works
  • VMware_vCloud_Director- – works
  • VMware_vCloud_Director- – works
  • VMware_Cloud_Director- – works
  • VMware_Cloud_Director- – works
  • VMware_Cloud_Director- – not working
  • VMware_Cloud_Director- – not working
  • VMware_Cloud_Director- – not working

What is Domain Search Path?

It is for the appliance hostname lookup. Meaning, all domain lookup is done by vCD will use any domain on that list (we can add the number of domains or subdomains we want).

So is an important part of the vCD deployment. Since vCD uses the IP address to add the hostname to the system. There is no need to add the hostname; the domain lookup adds the hostname on the primary IP.

What is exactly the issue, and where is it set?

In vCD 10.2.x now the deployment is done in two parts. The first part is just deploying the appliance. The second part is done after the vCD appliance is deployed, and then we add the rest of the settings(like NFS path, admin and DB password, etc.)

So when we deploy the vCD in the first part, we need to add the domain search path after the domain parameter.

Deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue

Issues after deployment that you may notice:

  1. When you deploy and try to run https://IP-FQDN:5480 to add the rest of the settings service is not running.
  2. The network could have issues (not reaching eth0).
  3. SSH is not enabled (even you add the option to enable).

Checking logs, we have this:

firstboot log


As we can see above, the error is trigger by the miss domain search path parameter in the ovf deployment.

What to do after? You can redeploy the appliance (it is not taking much time) or add the parameter you missed and rerun the firstboot script.

My recommendation? Just redeploy, don’t start your new vCD by adding extra steps or rerun the firstboot. But if still, you want to add the parameter restart, where is how to do it.

You can first double-check if you had the parameter or not.

You can do this in the VM Appliance options or with a command ovfenv in the appliance console(remember that you may not have ssh enabled, so you need to do this in the VM console).

firstboot log

As we can see above in the [vami.searchpath.VMware_vCloud_Director] is empty.

To add the parameter: Click on the vCD VM, Configure, and then vApp Options.

Note: VM needs to be power to be able to change vApp Options.

Deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue

Then search for the option vami.searchpath.VMware_vCloud_Director and click Set and add your domain search path.

After the changes, you can restart the VM.

Since firstboot only runs one time, restarting the VM will not fix the issue. So you need to rerun the script.

The script is in: /opt/vmware/etc/isv/firstboot

This should restart the Appliance deployment.

Note: I found issues a couple of times (like password issue), but in the rest was possible to redeploy the appliance. But again, I recommend redeploying OVA. It is safer and is with a clean install.

I hope this deploy vCloud Director 10.2.x domain search_path issue blog post will help you identify the issue when deploying a vCloud Director after 10.2 versions.

Until VMware changes their documentation stating that this parameter is mandatory or is a bug, they will fix it in the next releases (I have discussed this with VMware and will work on this issue).

Share this article if you think it is worth sharing. If you have any questions or comments, comment here, or contact me on Twitter.

By | 2021-07-05T22:46:40+02:00 July 5th, 2021|vCloud Director, VMware Posts|2 Comments

About the Author:

I have over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. I have been working with Virtualization for more than 15 years (mainly VMware). I recently obtained certifications, including VCP DCV 2022, VCAP DCV Design 2023, and VCP Cloud 2023. Additionally, I have VCP6.5-DCV, VMware vSAN Specialist, vExpert vSAN, vExpert NSX, vExpert Cloud Provider for the last two years, and vExpert for the last 7 years and a old MCP. My specialties are Virtualization, Storage, and Virtual Backup. I am a Solutions Architect in the area VMware, Cloud and Backup / Storage. I am employed by ITQ, a VMware partner as a Senior Consultant. I am also a blogger and owner of the blog ProVirtualzone.com and recently book author.


  1. Ayoub Baltajy 25/10/2021 at 16:13

    Thank you Luciano, this helped a lot.

Leave A Comment