This is quite a straight forward thing to do though I thought it worth writing a brief post on.
Firstly, to use Templates within ESX you need to have installed ‘Virtual Center’ and be using the VMware Infrastructure Client (VIC).
Generally, unless modified you will be presented with the ‘Inventory’ view within VIC. In this view you will not be able to see any of the Templates.
To view any Templates you may have already click on the small down arrow on the right hard side of the ‘Inventory’ button, ie:
This will present you with a drop down list box. Select ‘Virtual Machine And Templates’.
This will give you a slightly different view containing your VMs and any Templates. The appearance of a Template icon differs from that of a VM.
Ok, enough of the basics.
To add/import a pre-created ESX OS Template from another ESX data centre or similar copy the entire directory containing the Template and all of it’s associated files (ie: *.vmdk, *.nvram, etc) up to your ESX’s storage using the ‘Datastore Browser’ or a third party utility such as FastSCP.
I personally like to have a separate LUN to store my Templates and ISO images.
What you will notice with Templates is the inclusion of a file in its directory which has a ‘vmtx’ file extension. This Template related file contains various information relating to the VM.
Right mouse clicking this ‘vmtx’ file will produce a drop down menu with an option to ‘Add to Inventory’.
Select this and follow the ‘Add to Inventory Wizard’ to add this Template into your Virtual Center.
This sure beats the old method of using the Command Line!