Installing ESXi 5.x or 6.x in VMware Workstation (2034803)
This article explains how to install VMware ESXi in a virtual machine. Installing ESXi in a virtual machine provides a way to try the product without dedicating hardware to it. A virtual ESXi machine may be useful if you are studying to become a VCP (VMware Certified Professional).
By default, you can only run 32-bit virtual machines in ESXi. If you need to run 64-bit virtual machines, see the Additional Information section in this article.
To install ESXi 5.x or 6.x in VMware Workstation:
- Download the ESXi 5.x or 6.x ISO image from the VMware Download Center.
Note: If offered a choice, select the version for systems without software iSCSI configured.
- From the VMware Workstation toolbar, click File > New Virtual machine.
- Click Custom (advanced), then click Next.
- Select the hardware compatibility for the virtual machine, then click Next.
- Click Installer disk Image file (ISO), and browse and open the ESXi ISO file downloaded from the VMware Download Center.
- Click Next.
- Enter a name for your virtual machine and choose where to save it, then click Next.
- Follow the on-screen options to configure the virtual machine. Use the defaults unless you need to make changes for your environment.
- Click Finish.
Note: If you want to make any adjustments to the virtual machine settings, such as switching to Bridged networking, or increasing the RAM, processor, or disk space allocation, click Customize settings.
- Click Power on the virtual machine after creation.
- When the virtual machine powers on and the installation starts, choose ESXi-5.x.x-build_number-standard Installer, or wait 5 seconds.
Note: The build number and the ESXi version number differs according to the currently available download in the VMware Download Center.
- Press Enter to start the boot process, or wait 5 seconds.
- On the Welcome screen, press Enter to continue.
- Press F11 to accept the EULA and continue.
- Select the virtual disk where you want to install, and press Enter to continue.
- Select a keyboard layout. Press Enter to continue.
- Enter a root password. Press the Down Arrow or Tab key, then enter the password again to confirm. Press Enter to continue.
- This warning appears:
<HARDWARE_VIRTUALIZATION WARNING: Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU, or is not enabled in the BIOS>
This message is expected. Press Enter to continue.
- Confirm that the information on the screen is correct, then press F11 to start the installation.
- When the installation is complete, Press Enter to reboot.
The ESXi guest starts with an IP address assigned from DHCP. To set a static IP address:
- Press F2.
- Enter your password, then press Enter.
- Select Configure Management Network, then press Enter.
- Select IP Configuration, then press Enter.
- Select Set static IP addresses and network configuration, then press the Space bar.
- Press the Down Arrow key to select the IP Address field, then enter the correct information.
- If you need to set the Subnet or Default Gateway, press the Down Arrow key to select those fields and enter the appropriate information.
- After you have finished adjusting the settings, press Enter to exit.
- Press ESC to exit the configuration screen.
- When you are prompted to restart the management network for the changes to take effect, press Y.
- Press ESC again to go back to the main screen.
If you are using an i3 or later processor (that is, you do not have a Core 2 Duo), you can enable nested Virtualization Technology (VT). This allows you to run 64-bit virtual machines within ESXi. To enable nested VT, add this line to the .vmx file of the ESXi virtual machine:
vhv.enable = "TRUE"
For more information, see Tips for editing a .vmx file (1714).