How to Install and Configure VMware ESXi Server? [VMware Tutorials]

Previously we have shared a VMware tutorial on how to install Windows 10 on VMware, now we are sharing here how to install VMware vSphere ESXi server? and We have installed VMware ESXi server on VMware Workstation Pro, you can install the ESXi server on your local machine by following this step by step guide.

What is VMware vSphere ESXi?

VMware vSphere ESXi (formerly known as ESX) is the bare metal hypervisor from the VMware. Simply it is a free virtualization software and allows you to create and run virtual machines on a physical computer. You can download the VMware vShperer ESXi for free from here.

About ESXi: VMware ESXi is not an application software to install on an Operating System. It includes integrated Operating System components like the kernel.

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to install and configure VMware vSphere ESXi server:

#1 Create a new VM (Virtual Machine):

Open VMware workstation Pro and select New virtual machine from the file menu, now you will get a wizard to create New VM.

Create New Virtual Machine
Select Custom (advanced) for the virtual machine configuration and select the next button.

1. Hardware Compatibility for VM:

Here you need to choose the hardware compatibility for the newly created virtual machine. You can select from the dropdown list.

hoose the virtual machine hardware capability

This hardware compatibility shows the compatible products and its limitations, you can check the changing different versions from the list.

2. Select the Installation file (iso):

Here you need to select the installation file (iso file) which you have downloaded from the VMware download section.Select disk installer image

After choosing the right installation file? Select the next button to proceed.

3. Name the Virtual Machine:

Give a name to the virtual machine and select the path to where would you like to save VM?

Name the virtual machine and locate the virtual machie

Now select the next button to proceed.

4. Select Processor Configuration:

Here choose the number processors and number of cores for the processors:

Processor Configuration

Select the above details as per your requirements select the next button to proceed.

5. Choose the RAM size:

Now the wizard asks you to choose the RAM (Random Access Memory) size for the Virtual Machine.

Select Memory (RAM) for the virtual machine

Specify minimum 4GB of ram for the VMware ESXi, because you need to install Operating systems on ESXi.

6. Network Type:

Now select Network type for your Virtual Machine. we have selected NAT (Network Address Translation)

Select network type for the virtual machine

And select the next button to proceed.

7. Select I/O controllers:

VMware recommends selecting Paravirtualized SCSI as an I/O controller. We have selected the same as recommended.

Select IO controller types for the virtual machine

Select the next button to proceed to the next steps.

8. Select Disk Type:

Here VMware recommends SCSI as a Disk type for the Virtual Machine.

Disk type for the virtual machine

What is SCSI: SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) is a set of standards for connecting and transferring (physically) data between computers and peripheral devices.

9. Select Virtual Disk:

Now you need to select Disk (Virtual Disk) for newly created VM. Here you will get 3 options to choose:

  1. Create a new virtual disk.
  2. Use an existing virtual disk.
  3. Use a physical disk (this is for advanced users).

Select a Disk for virtual machine

For the first time, you need to select create a new virtual disk and next specify the disk size. For example, see the image below:

Specify disk capacity for the virtual machine

Here specify the virtual hard disk size, uncheck the allocate all disk space now and make sure to select store virtual disk as a single file. Press the next now you will get an option to where you would like to store the Virtual Disk file?

Select path to where wolud you like to store the disk file

Select the browse button and specify the path where you like to save the disk file? And select the next button to proceed to the final step.

ready to create the virtual machine

In this final step, you can review and customize the hardware. Select Customize Hardware button to customize and select the finish button to close the wizard and create the Virtual Machine.

#2 How to Install VMware ESXi:

In the above we have created a Virtual Machine to install the ESXi server, now we will see the step-by-step installation guide.

Now you need to power on the newly created VM, for the first time, it will boot from CD-Rom (We have selected VMware ESXi iso file as installer disk image file in step 2.

Power on Virtual Machine it will boot from an iso file, now you will get the ESXi standard boot menu:

ESXi Standard boot menu

Here you need to hit enter to continue, or it will automatically continue to ESXi installation after 7 seconds. Next, it will load the ESXi installer, it will take some time to load.

Loading ESXi installer

Once VMware ESXi installer loading completes it will start installing of VMware ESXi on the virtual machine. Check the below image for reference.

Installing ESXi Server

The installation process shows the version of VMware ESXi, CPU configurations and total ram size. Also, you can see the progress of the installation status of ESXi. The installation process will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

VMware ESXi

Here you need to select enter to continue. Next, you will have to accept the VMware end-user license agreement. Check the below image for more information:

ESXi End user license and agreement

Here you have two options:

  • (ESC) Do not Accept.
  • (F11) Accept and Continue.

Press F11 to accept the end-user license agreement and continue the installation. Next, you need to select the disk to install the VMware ESXi. Check the below image for more information:

Select a disk to install or upgrade ESXi

Here it will list the all available disks, here only one disk showing which was we created while creating Virtual Machine in the above steps. Now you need to hit the enter button to continue to install ESXi on Virtual machine.

Select keyboard layout

Here choose the keyboard layout from the list, I have selected the US Default keyboard and hit the enter button for continuing the installation.

Now VMware ESXi prompts for the root password. You have to give a specific root password and confirm the same password again.

enter a root password for ESXi

After confirming the root password hit the enter button to continue to install.

NOTE: Must remember your ESXi root password, because it is required to login to the VMware ESXi server.
Now confirm the installation of ESXi:
confirm installation of ESXi
Now press F11 to install the VMware ESXi on your machine. The installation will begin and let it complete, it will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
installing esxi
After complete the VMware installation it will prompt you to remove the installation media before reboot and reboot to start the VMware ESXi server.
VMWARE ESXI installation complete
Now you need to hit the enter button to reboot and start using ESXi. Reboot will take approximately 5 minutes you just wait to load the ESXi server.

#3 How to Configure VMware ESXi:

After rebooting the ESXi server will starts, the below image is the home screen of the VMware ESXi server. The home screen of ESXi will show:

  • machine hardware information.
  • ESXi host address to manage.
  • <F2> Customize system/view logs.
  • <F12> Shut Down/Restart. 
Home Screen of VMware ESXi server
Now Press the F2 button to configure the ESXi server. The below image is the customization options ESXi server.
VMWare ESXi configuration screen
Here you can customize:
  • Configure the root password.
  • Network management.
  • Keyword configuration.
  • Troubleshooting options.
  • View system logs.
  • View support information.
  • And, reset system configuration.

By default ESXi enables DHCP IP, Here I have configured a static IP address ( to host to manage the VMware ESXi server.

#4 Manage VMware ESXi Server:

To manage your VMware ESXi server you have to log in to the ESXi server using a web browser like Chrome/Mozilla/Opera by entering the Host address which I have given as a static IP address ( Check the below image for more information.

Manage VMWare ESXi server

Now ESXi server will ask you to enter the root user name and password to log in. You will get the ESXi server management page after login into the ESXi server.

Manage VMWare ESXi server

In the navigation pane you can see: The home screen of ESXi shows:
1. Host 1. Hardware usage.
2. Virtual Machines 2. Hardware information.
3. Storage 3. Recent Tasks.
4. Networking

Check the above image for more information. Thanks for reading our VMware tutorial, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, Keep sharing. Let us know your opinions in the comment section.

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