VMware ESXi is a hypervisor created by VMware allowing you to virtualize machines, servers, ... and which is obviously used in particular in the professional world.
In this tutorial, you will see how to download and install this VMware ESXi hypervisor, but also how to create your 1st virtual machine.
Although VMware ESXi is free, it's installed by default with a 60-day trial period.
To benefit from the free, unlimited time version, you will need a free serial number which can be obtained from the VMware website.
The 1st time, VMware will let you know that you have not registered for this product.
Click on the "Register" button.
Accept the proposed license agreement.
Once you have registered for this "VMware vSphere Hypervisor" product, VMware will show you a free unique serial number to register your VMware ESXi hypervisor.
Below, you will find several downloads, including the ISO file for VMware ESXi. In our case : VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7 Update 3 - Binaries - VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image (Includes VMware Tools)
Click on the "Manual Download" button.
You will get a "VMware-VMisor-Installer-...iso" ISO file.
To install VMware ESXi on your computer or server, configure your motherboard BIOS to boot from your CD/DVD drive in UEFI mode (preferably for secure boot) or LEGACY BIOS mode (which is also supported).
If you boot from the VMware ESXi CD in LEGACY BIOS mode, you will see this boot menu : ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard Boot Menu.
In this case, leave the option "ESXi-6.7.0-...-standard Installer" selected and press Enter.
Then, you will see this "Loading ESXi installer" screen.
If you booted in UEFI mode on the VMware ESXi installation CD, you will come directly here.
Press Enter or wait 5 seconds.
The installer will load the necessary files.
Then, you will see a gray and yellow screen like this. Wait a bit.
Then, the installer will appear : Welcome to the VMware ESXi 6.7.0 Installation.
Accept the license agreement by pressing F11.
Wait while the VMware ESXi installer scans your computer / server for hard disks, SSDs, RAID volumes, ...
Select the disk where you want to install VMware ESXi and press Enter.
Select your keyboard language. French for "French (France)" or Belgian for "French (Belgium)".
Specify a secure password for the VMware ESXi root account.
Wait while the VMware ESXi installer scans your hardware to verify that the necessary features are present (including : "VT-x / AMD-V" processor virtualization, ...).
The installer informs you that the previously selected disk will be repartitioned (and that the data on it will therefore be permanently erased).
Wait while VMware ESXi is installed.
As noted at the end of the installer, VMware ESXi will run in trial mode for 60 days.
During these 60 days, you will have access to all the features offered by the paid version of VMware ESXi.
Then, you will be required to register your VMware ESXi hypervisor with a serial number.
Knowing that the serial number of the free version will disable a lot of features.
To manage your server, you can :
Remove the installation CD from your CD/DVD drive and restart your computer / server by pressing Enter.
Wait while it restarts.
Once your computer / server has restarted, you will be taken to a "Loading VMware ESXi" screen.
Press Enter to start VMware ESXi or wait 5 seconds.
VMware ESXi will load the necessary files.
Loading of VMware ESXi will continue.
When VMware ESXi has finished booting, your server's IPv4 and IPv6 address (if applicable) will be displayed.
As you can see, the IPv4 address (in our case : 10.0.0.19) was obtained dynamically from our router's DHCP server.
However, to prevent your VMware ESXi hypervisor from changing its IP address, it's best to assign it a static IP address.
To do this, press the F2 key (Customize System/View Logs).
Enter the root account credentials and press Enter.
Then, go to : Configure Management Network.
Note : VMware ESXi tells you from which DHCP server the IP address of your server was obtained. (Network identity acquired from DHCP server 10.0.0.1)
To define a static IPv4 address, go to : IPv4 Configuration.
Select the "Set static IPv4 address and network configuration" option and specify :
Then, validate by pressing Enter.
The new IPv4 configuration appears on the right. Press "Esc".
Since you have defined a static IP address for your VMware ESXi hypervisor, it's important to also define the DNS servers that it should use.
Indeed, these will no longer be automatically received via the DHCP protocol since the IP address used is static (fixed).
To define them, go to : DNS Configuration.
Then, select "Use the following DNS server addresses and hostname" and specify :
VMware ESXi will ask you to confirm the modification of the network configuration as this will create a mini disconnection, which could possibly disconnect remote management software, Remote Desktop (RDP) sessions, cause a brief network disconnection in the virtual machines currently running on your VMware ESXi hypervisor (if applicable), ...
Confirm by pressing "Y".
Press "Esc" again to return to the VMware ESXi home screen.
Now, VMware ESXi tells you that this is a Static IP address.
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