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Last updated on 4/6/22

Install VSphere Tools

Install the vSphere tools

Explore The vSphere Suite

VMware jargon can be a headache for beginners, so here’s a quick summary before we get into the details:

Commercial name




vSphere Hypervisor

  • ESXi

  • Just the hypervisor, managed via a web client. 

Free (60-day trial)


  • ESXi

  • vSphere Client

  • vCenter

  • Other secondary functions (vMotion, DRS, etc.)

  • The hypervisor

  • The application client

  • vCenter to manage several ESXis

  • All functions linked to multi-ESXi architecture

Payment required

Check the Hardware Prerequisites

In the demonstration below, we’re going to install an ESXi server, which will host two Tiny Core Linux VMs.

A machine with 4GB of RAM will be more than adequate. 

Installing ESXi on Apple hardware is not recommended.

However, there’s a bit more to it. ESXi cannot function independently; to manage it, you must connect it to a web or application client. 

It may not seem clear, but remember that once your ESXi is installed and configured, you don’t touch it again. You can’t create VMs directly using this machine, which is why you need another on the same network as your ESXi. So, remember to equip your machines with a network card.

This is the hardware you need:

  • A physical machine for the ESXi:

    • 4GB of RAM.

    • 1 Ethernet network card.

  • A machine to use the web client:

    • A network card.

    • An installed web browser.

vSphere web client  communicates with Remote access  ESXi  Web server  Mail server
Communication between VSphere and ESXI

Set Up ESXi

Step 1: Download ESXI

Download vSphere Hypervisor - Version 7.0U2a (ESXi’s commercial name).

You must create an account and sign in on the VMware website.

You’ll be able to download an ISO file.

Step 2: Mount the ISO File

Mount your ISO file onto the equipment of your choice (CD/DVD, USB stick), insert it into your machine, and boot from it.

If you don’t know how to do this, look at this guide. It explains how to boot from an external device.

Step 3: Adjust the Settings

Once the machine has started up using your installation media, ESXi will be installed in the same way as an operating system, asking you to click Accept, NextContinue, etc.

You will be asked which disk you want to install ESXi on. In this case, there is only one, but this depends on your hardware's configuration.

The screen asks where you would like to install the disk location and route
Select Installation Disk

Set your keyboard to English before creating your administrator account (root).

A list of multiple keyboard options
Choose the keyboard layout
The screen asks to input a password and confirm it
Confirm the password

Confirm installation with F11, and you’re good to go!

The screen asks you to accept the changes or cancel
Set up confirmation screen

When it finishes, remove the installation equipment (CD/DVD or USB stick), and press Enter to restart your machine.

The screen displays the successful installation notification
Installation completion screen

This screen means that installation has finished, and ESXi is ready to create your new VMs!

Take a Closer Look at Steps 1 - 3: Installation

Check my video to make sure you have begun the installation correctly before moving on to the next step:

 Step 4: Check the Network Configuration

To use this ESXi, you must connect via a remote client machine with the IP address of the hypervisor. For this, you’ll need to look at your ESXi network card’s configuration.

To do this, press F2 to go to the configuration menu. You’ll be asked for the administrator password you set during installation (login: root).

Th page asks you to put in your password.
Log-in page

Go to the Configure Management Network menu.

The network configuration setting are selected to manage the network
Network configuration

Then to IPv4 Configuration.

Click on IPv4 Configuration to access the settings
IPv4 Configuration

Select the Set static IPv4 address option, then enter an IP address, which will be on the same network as the client machine you will be accessing ESXi from.

The set static IPv4 address option is selected an the ip address is added
Set up an IP address

You’re done! Your ESXi is ready!

Take a Closer Look at Step 4: Configuration

You must configure your network settings correctly before moving on to creating your environment. Follow my video below to make sure you have done so before going to the next chapter:

Let’s Recap!

  • ESXi is the vSphere hypervisor, managed via a web client.

  • ESXi cannot function independently. Use a web or application client to manage it.

  • It will be installed in the same way as an operating system, asking you to click Accept, Next, Continue, etc.

  • You will need to know the hypervisor’s IP address to connect once it’s installed. 

ESXi is the most popular type 1 hypervisor worldwide and is used by organizations of all sizes. Understanding how to install it on your hardware is crucial. Make sure you have understood this chapter before moving on! In the next chapter, we’ll create the virtual machines that sit on top of the hypervisor.

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