VMware ESXi 5 installation

VMware ESXi 5 installation Requirements

The following article would give you a brief overview of VMware ESXi Hpyervisor and describe the requirements and step by step guide to VMware ESXi 5 installation.

What is VMware ESXi

    • VMware ESXi is a type 1 Hypervisor which runs directly on your hardware
    • It is “the operating system”
    • Talks directly to your hardware including NIC and storage controller



    • 64-bit CPU with Intel VT or AMD-V enabled
    • 2098MB of RAM is the minimum but likely you’ll want 8GB+
    • Gig-E or 10Gig-Ethernet controller


  • vSphere 5.0 supports booting ESXi hosts from the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). With UEFI you can boot systems from hard drives, CD-ROM drives, or USB media.
  •  ESXi can boot from a disk larger than 2TB provided that the system firmware and the firmware on any addin card that you are using supports it.
  • Check hardware compatibility (HCL/HCG) at www.vmware.com/go/hcl
  • ESXi can be installed and run from VMware Workstation or Fusion (for testing purpose only)
  • VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) has more specific hardware requirements.
  • vSphere storage has it’s own set of requirements


What Happened to ESX Server?

  • ESX Server has been deprecated/discontinued
    • Redhat Linux-based service console required more frequent updates and had a larger attack surface
    • Maintaining two platforms didn’t make sense
    • Took longer to install and boot
    • Used more resources of the host


  • ESXi type-1 hypervisor
    • Thinner
    • Less updates needed
    • More secure as less codes to patch
    • Still has a very thin built-in local CLI
    • Loads and installs super-fast
    • Performs all the advanced features of ESX


Downloading VMware ESXi 5


VMware ESXi 5 installation

  • Check the server hardware you are installing ESXi 5 onto is supported and on the VMware HCL.
  • Login to the VMware license portal to check/upgrade/buy your vSphere licenses.
  • Read the ESXi Setup Guide to ensure you understand the pre-requisites.
  • Download the VMware ESXi 5 ISO file from the VMware download area.
  • Burn the ESXi 5 ISO to a CD.
  • Disconnect all Fibre Channel connections (if any) and boot the server from the CD.
  • Select “ESXi-5 Installer”

VMware ESXi 5 installation Boot Menu

   VMware ESXi 5 installation - Loading Installer

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Loading Modules

  • When ready to install press “Enter”

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Welcome Screen


  • Read and accept the license agreement, press F11 to accept EULA.
  • Make sure you select the correct storage device to install ESXi on and press “Enter”

NOTE: ensure it is not an FC VMFS datastore! as this can result on Production Data lost.

 VMware ESXi 5 installation - Installation Partition

  • Select the keyboard layout and press Enter.

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Keyboard Selection

  • Enter a password for the “root” account. Press Enter.

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Password Setup

  • Press F11 to start installing ESXi 5 hypervisor.

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Installation Confirmation

  • Once the installation is complete press Enter to reboot the server and boot the ESXi 5 hypervisor.

VMware ESXi 5 installation - Installation Completion

  • Once the ESXi server has booted it will receive a DHCP lease (if applicable) you can now manage this with the vSphere client or continue to set a static IP for management (recommended)


ESXi Initial Configuration

  • Login by pressing F2 key on the console and root password (password which was configured during installation)
  • Configure IP address, SM, DG, DNS servers, hostname, and domain
  • Add host entry into your DNS server
  • Add to vCenter by DNS name or IP address
  • The following settings are optional:
    • Configuration of NTP on the ESXi server
    • Connecting ESXi server to SAN
    • Configuration of lockdown mode
    • Enable tech support mode and remote tech support mode


Installing the vSphere Client

  • Available in either a Windows version or a new web-based version
  • Only Windows version offers 100% of features today
  • vSphere Client is now downloaded from VMware.com
  • An ESXi host or vCenter server will direct you
  • vSphere Client is also found on vCenter installation media
  • Hardware requirements to run the Windows vSphere Client are low
  • Windows version requires that you install the .NET client
  • Web-based version requires that you install Adobe Flash


For VMware ESXi 5 Installation Best Practices please visit the following VMware knowledge base Article.

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2005099Installing ESXi 5.0 best practices )

Check Also

VMware ESXi step-by-step Installation Guide with Screenshots

The following article would cover VMware ESXi Step-by-step Installation guide with screenshots. VMware ESXi comes with a 60 days evaluation mode, however there is also a Free version available as well.

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