First look at VMware ESXi 5.5 installation on a flash drive, followed by the vSphere client install

Posted by Paul Braren on Aug 27 2013 (updated on Sep 3 2013) in
  • ESXi
  • This video is just a first step in producing a whole series of these, much like the comprehensive, step-by-step series I did back on ESXi 5.0, seen here. You'll witness the install of the hypervisor, with wait-for-it parts sped up considerably. I also touch upon SSH and NTP configuration, and the straight-forward install of the vSphere client on a Windows 8 system's SSD.

    Soon, assuming I get the vSphere Web Client and VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) working smoothly, I'll start kicking the tires a bit harder, right on video, to show the greater-than-2TB virtual-drive-size, for example. I'll also be revisiting VMDirectPath, and checking in on USB 3.0 handling. I'm hoping it's progressed a bit, since the first of its kind deep dive I did into 5.1's limited USB 3.0 support right here on TinkerTry, ESXi 5.1 has USB 3.0 support, sort of… Sep 26 2012.

    Meanwhile, get your sneak peek at the ESXi 5.5 install in the video below, where I used 5.5.0 Build 1266856. I went with using using VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0-1266856.x86_64.iso to burn a DVD-R that I then booting from, for install to a blank 4 GB USB drive.

    I think most folks new to ESXi are surprised how simple the initial installation really is, and how little time it takes.

    Aug 27 2013 Update:
    Configuration of the VMware VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) build 1266838 is proving to be a challenge, when using anything even slightly different than the default configuration, especially with no proper DNS. I'm working on resolving those issues now, continuing my focus on simplicity, when operating in a home or lab environment.

    Sep 03 2013 1st Update:
    The full video walk-through has arrived! See Build your own VMware vSphere Datacenter in under an hour with the free ESXi 5.5 hypervisor.

    Sep 03 2013 2nd Update:
    At 9am local time, it came to my attention that there may be newer builds of ESXi hypervisor and appliance, which might mean my ESXi 5.5.0 Build 1266856, and VCSA Build 1266838, aren't the release to manufacture code. There's still value in leaving the related articles and video in place, as an early look at how ESXi 5.5 will likely look and behave, once Generally Available. Whether there winds up being any slight changes to the behavior remains to be seen. One thing I'll be keen on re-testing is whether the name and/or IP of the appliance can be changed, without killing the appliance's "Configuring SSO" step roughly 9 out of 10 times.

    Sep 03 2013 09:51pm ET Update:
    All the latest information about the code availability is now kept up to date here: