After posting the instructions on how to install Raspberry Pi (rPI) OS into a Virtual Machine running on ESXi-Arm, I was already thinking about an easier consumption method that not only benefited VMware customers interested in running rPI OS as a VM but also the larger rPI OS development community. Just imagine, you can now easily deploy, build and test multiple rPI OS/application on a single physical rPI and get all the benefits of vSphere that many customers have enjoyed for the past two decades.
My goal was to build an rPI OS OVA that would enable some basic guest customization such as networking and configuring the password for the default pi user. As you can see from the screenshot below, I was able to accomplish this with minimal trial/error and works fantastic!
I was initially planning to release the rPI OS OVA as a VMware Fling which can then be made available to the community. However, due challenges in the way rPI OS is distributed today via an image file and the inclusion of packages that makes it difficult for redistribution, I decided to forgo the VMware Fling route and simply publish the instructions with some supplemental scripts that can be used to produce the same rPI OS OVA that I have built for my own personal use.
It would have been great if this could be made available and if anyone from Raspberry Pi organization is reading this and is interested in hosting the download, I would be more than welcome to provide you with OVA file.