Installing VMware ESXi

This chapter covers the following VMware ESXi installation topics:

  • Choosing an install method

  • Preparing the USB boot media

  • Installing ESXi from the USB media

  • Initial host configuration

  • Assigning a host license


This deployment guide assumes you are building an environment as a proof of concept and is not meant to be a production deployment, as a result, choices made are meant to speed up and ease the process. See the corresponding guides for each technology, and make choices appropriate for your needs, before building your production environment.

Choosing Install method

With the ability to install from and onto a SD card or USB memory stick, ESXi offers flexibility verses local hard drive install. Please see vSphere documentation regarding best practices for logs when booting from USB or similar. In our main lab we used Supermicro’s IPMI and virtual media to boot from ISO file and install on local storage.

Preparing USB Boot Media

Reference VMware KB: “Installing ESXi on a supported USB flash drive or SD flash card (2004784)”

Booting vSphere 6.7 from a USB flash drive is useful if your host has an existing vSphere Version 5.5 or earlier installation that you want to retain.

Prepare USB Flash drive

Use the following procedure to prepare a USB flash drive for booting

  1. Download UNetbootin from The Windows version of the application does not include an installer; however, the OSX version is packaged in a .DMG file that you must mount. You must also copy the application to the Applications folder before launching. Alternatively, you can use YUMI, which allows booting multiple installation images on one USB device plus the option to load the entire installation into RAM. The download link is

  2. ShapeStart the application, select Diskimage, and then click the … icon to browse for the installation .ISO file.

  3. Navigate to the location that contains the installation .ISO file and then select Open.

  4. Select the mounted USB drive on which to perform the installation and then select OK. The copying process begins, and a series of progress bars are displayed.
  5. When the copying process is complete, click Exit and then remove the USB drive.

  6. To install from this USB flash drive, insert it into the host using either an internal USB port or on an external USB port, then set that as the primary boot source or select from the boot menu on power up.

Installing ESXi

Use the following procedure to install the ESXi regardless of boot source. Select the boot media with the vSphere ISO on your host’s boot menu.

  1. Apply power to start the host. The following menu displays when the host starts up.

  2. Select the installer using the arrow keys and then press [ENTER] to begin booting the ESXi 6.7 installer.

  3. A compatibility warning display: Press [ENTER] to proceed.

  4. Read the End User License Agreement (EULA) and then press [F11] to accept it and continue the installation.

  5. The installer scans the host to locate a suitable installation drive

    • It should display all drives available for install.

  6. Use the arrow keys to select the drive you want to install ESXi and then press [ENTER] to continue.


    You can install ESXi to a USB drive and then boot and run the system from that USB drive. This sample installation shows vSphere being installed on a local hard drive.

  7. The installer scans the chosen drive to determine suitability for install.

  8. The Confirm Disk Selection window displays. Press [ENTER] to accept your selection and continue. (For this EA2 release, Upgrade ESXi is not a supported selection.)

  9. Select your desired keyboard layout using the arrow keys and then press [ENTER].

  10. Enter a root password in the Root password field. Use Caution To prevent unauthorized access, your selected root password should contain at least eight (8) characters and consist of a mix of lowercase and capital letters, digits, and special characters.

  11. Confirm the password in the Confirm password field and then press [ENTER] to proceed. The installer re-scans the system.

  12. Then displays the Confirm Install window

  13. Press [F11] to proceed with the installation.


    The installer will repartition the selected disk. all data on the selected disk will be destroyed!

  14. The ESXi 6.7 installation proceeds

  15. The Installation Complete window displays when the installation process is completed.

  16. Press [ENTER] to reboot the system. (Make sure your installation media has been ejected and your bios set to the boot disk.)


Initial Host Configuration

A countdown timer displays when you first boot ESXi 6.7. You can wait for the countdown to expire or press [ENTER] to proceed with booting. A series of notifications displays during boot. The VMware ESXi 6.7 screen displays once the boot completes.


Use the following procedure to configure the host:

  1. Press [F2]: The Authentication Required window displays.

  2. Enter the root account credentials that you created during the installation process and then press [ENTER]. The System Customization screen displays.

  3. Scroll down to select Configure Management Network and then press [ENTER].

    • The Network Adapters window appears.

  4. Use the arrow keys to select the adapter to use as the default management network and then press [ENTER].

    • The IPv4 Configuration window displays.

  5. Use the arrow keys to select Set static IPv4 address and network configuration and then enter the IPv4 address, subnet mask, and default gateway in the respective fields.

  6. Press [ENTER] when finished to apply the new management network settings.

  7. The Confirm Management Network popup displays.

  8. Press [Y] to confirm your selection.

  9. The DNS Configuration window displays.

  10. Add the primary and (if available) secondary DNS server address(es) in the respective fields.

  11. Set the host name for this vSphere host in the Hostname field.

  12. Press [ENTER] when finished.

  13. Select Test Management Network on the main vSphere 6 screen to open the Test Management Network window.

  14. Perform the following tests:

    • Ping the default gateway.

    • Ping the DNS server.

    • Resolve a known address.

  15. Return to the main ESXi 6.7 screen when you have completed testing, and then select Troubleshooting Options.

    • The Troubleshooting Mode Options window displays.

  16. In order to install the NVDIA VIB in a later step, you will need to enable the ESXi Shell. This can be accomplished by selecting Enable ESXi Shell.

  17. Press [ENTER] to toggle Enable vSphere Shell on.

    • The window on the right displays the status: Enable ESXi Shell Disabled.

  18. Enable SSH by selecting Enable SSH and press [ENTER] to toggle this option on.

    • The window on the right displays the status: SSH is Enabled