In the previous post, we’ve discussed content libraries and how to create & publish a local content library.

In this article, we will take a look at the creation of a subscribed content library and other options available with the content library.

Subscribed Content Library

A subscribed content library is derived from the published content library and you can create a subscribed content library to subscribe to a published library and use its contents. Upload or import items into a subscribed library option is not available and you can only use the content in the published library.

Create a Subscribed Content Library

To create Subscribed Content Library you need below details

  • URL of the published content library
  • Subscribed-Content-Library

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  • If authentication is enabled on the published library, then publisher password is required

Step by Step configuration

  1. Navigate to Content library Page and click on the icon “ + “ to create a new content library
  2. Once the Name & Location wizard appears, enter the Name and Note and the vCenter Server will be automatically selected. Click Next,
  3. Subscribed-Content-Library

  4. Select the Subscribed content library option, specify the Subscription URL, Enable authentication and specify the download type to use and click Next
    • Subscription URL – Published URL of the Content Library
    • Authentication – Same password used in “Enable authentication” field when subscribing”
    • Download Content Immediately – This option will synchronize both the item metadata and the item contents. While synchronization happens, the library items that are new for the subscribed library are fully downloaded to the storage location of the subscribed library
    • Download content when needed – This option will only sync the metadata for the library items from the published library and does not download the contents of the items. This option will save storage space and based on your requirement you can synchronize the items. After you are done using the item, you can delete the item contents to free space on the storage. This will help to avoid the overhead if you have a slow network link


  5. Select the storage location for the subscribed library content and click Next
  6. Subscribed-Content-Library

  7. Verify the details and click Finish to create the Subscribed Content Library
  8. Subscribed-Content-Library

We’ve successfully created the subscribed content library. Now, we will look at the process of performing a manual synchronization.

Manual Synchronization

From Subscribed Content library option you can check the details of the type, stored locally, size and guest OS.

The size will be showing as “ 0 B“ since it is not synced.


Right-click on the Subscribed Content library and select synchronize option to start the manual synchronization


After synchronization completes, the item content and metadata are downloaded to the storage of the subscribed library, and the value for the item in the Stored Locally column changes to Yes and size of the item will be displayed.


Note: Once your requirement is over you can delete the content of the item to free up the space on the storage. Items will be available in your subscribed library, but it won’t consume any space on your storage because only the item’s metadata remains on the storage.

Clone as Template to Library

You can clone a virtual machine or VM templates from vCenter to the Templates in the content library.

This stored template in the library can be used to provision virtual machines. You can customize the template with additional software in the guest operating system and use it as master copy for all future provisioning.

Right-click on the virtual machine or template and select Clone > Clone to Template in Library


Provide the basic information such as template name, note if required and select a folder for the template and click Next.


From the available libraries, select a library in which you want to add the template and click Next.


Select a compute resource – ESXi host and click Next


Select the storage where you want to store the template i.e, the configuration & disk files and click Next


Review all the details and click Finish to start the cloning of the virtual machine to a template


You can monitor the progress of the clone in the recent task.


Once the cloning is completed, the new template will be available on your Content Library.

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VMware Content Libraries: Part 3- Creating Subscribed Content Library
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