With the VMware ESXi hypervisor, you can virtualize many operating systems and create complete virtual machines.
Indeed, VMware ESXi offers many options to add virtual or physical hardware to your virtual machines, as well as to configure the boot mode of this one (BIOS / EFI) or other advanced options (in particular via the vmx configuration options).
In this article, we will introduce you to all the options available for these virtual machines on VMware ESXi, as well as explain what they are used for.
When you create or modify a virtual machine, you will be able to configure its virtual hardware.
However, note that when the virtual machine is powered on (started), some options and components of the virtual hardware can't be changed.
For this article, we used a virtual machine in Windows 10.
Note : if the guest operating system is different in your case, it's possible that some components of its virtual hardware are not displayed by default or that they are configured differently.
In the "Virtual Hardware" section, you will find the virtual hardware currently used by this virtual machine, as well as 3 options to add virtual or physical hardware to it.
When the "CPU" section is reduced, the number you specify will define the number of processors (or processor cores) allocated to this virtual machine, but these will be seen by default as virtual processors and not as processor cores by the guest operating system.
Once this "CPU" section is deployed, you can also configure the number of cores per socket (which depends on the 1st "CPU" setting).
For the allocation of processors and/or processor cores to your virtual machine, you will find the following settings :
Small quick example : to allocate 1 virtual processor with 2 cores to your virtual machine, you will have to specify :
As a reminder, the "Cores per socket" setting is linked to the 1st "CPU" setting. So, the more you allocate logical processor cores (CPU) of the physical processor, the more cores you will be able to assign per virtual processor (Cores per Socket).
In the "Memory" section, you can define :
For each virtual hard drive, you will be able to :
Most of the time, a SCSI controller will be added to your virtual machine and it allows you to connect physical or virtual hard disks.
Although you can manually choose the type of SCSI controller used by your virtual machine, the default choice made by VMware ESXi allows you to get the best possible performance and to ensure that the controller is compatible with your guest operating system that you want to virtualize.
However, for the SCSI controller, you will have the choice between :
In the case of the SCSI controller, you can enable or disable the sharing of virtual hard disks using the "SCSI Bus Sharing" option :
For the SATA controller, you will have no option.
This only allows the connection of virtual hard disks and/or virtual CD/DVD drives in SATA. Which can be useful for compatibility reasons. Especially with various live troubleshooting CDs.
Allows you to change the version to be used for this USB controller, as well as to connect physical USB supports (USB keys, external hard disks, ...) or virtual (thanks to our "VMware ESXi 6.7 - Create a virtual USB key" tutorial) on your virtual machine.
Note that the version chosen by default by VMware ESXi varies depending on the version of the operating system that you want to virtualize.
For example, VMware ESXi will default to USB 2.0 for Windows XP and Windows 7 and USB 3.0 for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.
As explained in our "VMware ESXi 6.7 - Basics of network management on VMware ESXi" tutorial, access to the network (and to the Internet, if applicable) of virtual machines on VMware ESXi is managed via port groups created from virtual switches.
For each network adapter, you can first choose which port group you want to connect it to. By default, the "VM Network" port group.
For each network adapter, you will also find these options :
By default, VMware ESXi obviously adds a CD/DVD drive to allow you to easily install the desired guest operating system in your virtual machine.
For this, you can use :
For the virtual CD/DVD drive, you will also find these settings :
By default, a "VMware SVGA" virtual video card is used to provide you with a display.
This will be sufficient in 99% of cases, but you could also use a compatible physical graphics card from a virtual machine thanks to the GPU passthrough, if you wish.
For the VMware virtual video card, you will be able to :
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