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Determining the ESXi installation type (2014558)

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ESXi installed on a host can be one of these types:
  • Embedded
  • Installable
  • PXE
This article provides steps to identify the ESXi type installed on a host. You may want to determine the installed ESXi type if a patch or command fails to run on the host.


To determine the type of ESXi installation:
  1. Connect to the host via SSH.
  2. Run this command:

    # esxcfg-info -e

    You see an output similar to:

    boot type: visor-thin

    You can determine the ESXi type based on the output of this command.

    For example:
    • visor-thin indicates an installable deployment
    • visor-usb indicates an embedded deployment
    • visor-pxe indicates a PXE deployment
Alternatively, you can use the information from the bootbank UUID to determine the ESXi installation type.
To determine the ESXi installation type from the bootbank UUID information:
  1. Connect to the host via SSH.
  2. Run one of these commands to get the UUID of the current bootbank:

    • # esxcfg-info -b

      You see an output similar to:

      281aa0 78-d5936f3d-cdbe-d8c04f5b3cc7

    • # esxcfg-info | grep "Boot Filesystem UUID"

      You see an output similar to:

      |----World Command Line.................................grep Boot Filesystem UUID
      |----Boot Filesystem UUID.....................................281aa0 78-d5936f3d-cdbe-d8c04f5b3cc7

  3. Examine the 7th character in the UUID returned by these commands (highlighted in red).
    • If the character is e, it is an Embedded deployment.
    • If the character is anything but e, it is an Installable deployment.
    • If there is no UUID and the character is empty, it is a PXE deployment.

In this example, it is an Installable deployment.

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