How to Install/Re-install ESXi 6.7

Thanks to Michael Frauenhoffer for this guide which can be used also during VMware reinstallation. I run into trouble after enabling some pass through functions and ended up with dma_mappon_iommu load successfully but get stuck at that point with no option to continue or interrupt the process, therefore I had to boot from ESXi USB and replace existing installation (keeping old Datastore intact).OR

Source:https://medium.com/@Frauenhoffer/how-to-install-esxi-6-7-bd23c198f830

What you will need:

What is VMware Vsphere (ESXi)?

VMware ESXi (formerly ESX) is an enterprise-class, type-1 Hypervisor developed by VMware for deploying and serving virtual computers. As a type-1 hypervisor, ESXi is not a software application that is installed on an operating system (OS) like VMware Workstation or Oracle VirtualBox; instead, it includes and integrates vital OS components, such as a kernel

VMware ESXi is free, easy to implement, and is great for home servers. With ESXi, you are able to host multiple Servers or Workstations on a single host. This is implemented using Virtualization. Further, you are able to manage Virtual Machines with snapshot features, virtual switching, and performance monitoring.

Instructions:

  1. Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.7 from the address listed above. This will require you to create a VMware account. This should be a ‘.iso’ file. For example, the filename that I had when I downloaded the installation media was “VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0–8169922.x86_64”

2. Once, you have downloaded the installation media, write the ‘.iso’ file to a physical medium such as a DVD or USB. You can use an extremely popular USB writer called Rufus. For this Medium post we will be walking through the writing to USB method with the 2x USB options.

  • Make sure you can see the USB drive you will be writing to in the Rufus menu
  • Verify you have selected the correct Disk Image (.ISO) with the select option
  • Press the start button and wait for the image to be written to the USB

After the bookable media has been created, plug in the USB or insert the DVD into the Physical Host(Computer, Server, etc). Moreover, plug in the second USB to the physical medium. At this point you should have either both USBs or a USB and a DVD plugged into the host.

Boot the host and select the bootable media from the boot menu of the Host. This could be by pressing either ‘esc’, ‘F12’, or ‘F9’ while the computer boots. If you are having trouble booting into the boot menu then google “How to access computer boot menu” on Google.

3. When the bootable media is started. You should see a boot menu like the one below. Select the “ESXi-6.7…” option and slam the ‘enter’ key because we are about to embark on a most excellent adventure. If your bootable media is not booting, you may have a corrupted .ISO or bad USB drive.

Side note: If you are building a Hypervisor to host multiple Virtual Machines like Windows Server 2016, Ubuntu 18.04, etc. then you may want to download those Disk Images while you are building the Hypervisor to save time.

4. When you boot into the ESXi Installer, you will be greeted with a loading menu like the one below. Allow the menu to load and you will be greeted with a End User License Agreement. If you reach an Error on the loading screen and are not seeing the image below, you may have a corrupted .ISO file and will most likely need to re-download from the VMware website.

Cough*Cough* “Read” the EULA and then click the ‘F11’ key to progress with the installation.

Once you reach the screen to install the ESXi system MAKE SURE YOU SELECT THE SECOND/UNUSED USB DRIVE. This will install ESXi on the USB drive and not the internal Hard Drive of the Host Machine.

Click Enter to accept that the data on the USB drive will be overwritten while ESXi is installed on it.

Create a Secure Password for ESXi. Do not forget this password. This password will be used to log into the ESXi interface and to Customize settings later at the ESXi Host screen.

Click “F11” to Install on the USB Drive and wait for ESXi to install.

5. When the installation completes, you will be greeted with a basic ESXi Host screen. The screen will display important information about the ESXi system like the IP address of the host machine. You will need this address to log into the ESXi interface.

On the bottom of the Host Screen there will be two options

  • [F12] Shutdown/Restart
  • [F2] Customize System / View Logs

Press the “F2” key to open the Customize System menu and enter the password that you have just created previously.

On the Customize System Menu, you will see an option to configure the management network on the device. you may want to set a static IP for your system since the IP address will be the primary way you will access the host machine.

There are other options that can be configured from these menus like SSH and Hostname. Have fun and mess around with the Hypervisor. On the next post I will dive into Licensing, Creating DataStores, and Setting up Virtual Machines.

Recommendations:

  • The ESXi physical host will not need a monitor to function properly. I would suggest setting a static IP Address on the machine OUTSIDE OF THE DHCP SCOPE, plugging it in to a switch somewhere and your house and forgetting about it.
  • I would configure the BIOS to power on the Physical Host when power is applied. That way if there is a poweroutage, your machine will come back online without user interaction.
  • Re-configure the BIOs boot options to boot from the USB instead of the Hard Drive. Why? Because the ESXi system is on the USB stick. This is awesome because the Datastore of the physical machine will be agnostic of the ESXi HyperVisor. In Lamen’s Terms, if your USB shits the bed, you will be able to boot another ESXi USB and take control of the DataStore. This will allow you to continue operations as usual
Jan D.
Jan D.

"The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability."

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