Installing ESXi 5.x or 6.x in VMware Workstation
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Installing ESXi 5.x or 6.x in VMware Workstation


Article ID: 343382


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor VMware vSphere ESXi


This article explains how to install VMware ESXi in a virtual machine. Installing ESXi in a virtual machine provides a way to try the product without dedicating hardware to it. A virtual ESXi machine may be useful if you are studying to become a VCP (VMware Certified Professional).

By default, you can only run 32-bit virtual machines in ESXi. If you need to run 64-bit virtual machines, see the Additional Information section in this article.


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware Workstation Pro 16.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 8.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 9.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 15.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 11.x (for Linux)
VMware Workstation 10.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Windows)
VMware Workstation 11.x (for Windows)
VMware Workstation Pro 15.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 9.x (Windows)
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware Workstation 10.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 16.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 8.x (Linux)
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.5


Installing ESXi

To install ESXi 5.x or 6.x in VMware Workstation:
  1. Download the ESXi 5.x or 6.x ISO image from the VMware Download Center.

    Note: If offered a choice, select the version for systems without software iSCSI configured.
  2. From the VMware Workstation toolbar, click File > New Virtual machine.
  3. Click Custom (advanced), then click Next.
  4. Select the hardware compatibility for the virtual machine, then click Next.
  5. Click Installer disk Image file (ISO), and browse and open the ESXi ISO file downloaded from the VMware Download Center.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Enter a name for your virtual machine and choose where to save it, then click Next.
  8. Follow the on-screen options to configure the virtual machine. Use the defaults unless you need to make changes for your environment.
  9. Click Finish.

    Note: If you want to make any adjustments to the virtual machine settings, such as switching to Bridged networking, or increasing the RAM, processor, or disk space allocation, click Customize settings.
  10. Click Power on the virtual machine after creation.
  11. When the virtual machine powers on and the installation starts, choose ESXi-5.x.x-build_number-standard Installer, or wait 5 seconds.

    Note: The build number and the ESXi version number differs according to the currently available download in the VMware Download Center.
  12. Press Enter to start the boot process, or wait 5 seconds.
  13. On the Welcome screen, press Enter to continue.
  14. Press F11 to accept the EULA and continue.
  15. Select the virtual disk where you want to install, and press Enter to continue.
  16. Select a keyboard layout. Press Enter to continue.
  17. Enter a root password. Press the Down Arrow or Tab key, then enter the password again to confirm. Press Enter to continue.
  18. This warning appears:

    <HARDWARE_VIRTUALIZATION WARNING: Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU, or is not enabled in the BIOS>

    This message is expected. Press Enter to continue.
  19. Confirm that the information on the screen is correct, then press F11 to start the installation.
  20. When the installation is complete, Press Enter to reboot.

Configuring networking

The ESXi guest starts with an IP address assigned from DHCP. To set a static IP address:
  1. Press F2.
  2. Enter your password, then press Enter.
  3. Select Configure Management Network, then press Enter.
  4. Select IP Configuration, then press Enter.
  5. Select Set static IP addresses and network configuration, then press the Space bar.
  6. Press the Down Arrow key to select the IP Address field, then enter the correct information.
  7. If you need to set the Subnet or Default Gateway, press the Down Arrow key to select those fields and enter the appropriate information.
  8. After you have finished adjusting the settings, press Enter to exit.
  9. Press ESC to exit the configuration screen.
  10. When you are prompted to restart the management network for the changes to take effect, press Y.
  11. Press ESC again to go back to the main screen.

Additional Information

Running 64-bit virtual machines

If you are using an i3 or later processor (that is, you do not have a Core 2 Duo), you can enable nested Virtualization Technology (VT). This allows you to run 64-bit virtual machines within ESXi. To enable nested VT, add this line to the .vmx file of the ESXi virtual machine:

vhv.enable = "TRUE"

For more information, see Tips for editing a .vmx file (1714).
Tips for editing a .vmx file
Support for running ESXi/ESX as a nested virtualization solution
ESXi 5.x の VMware Workstation への インストール

VMware does not support running nested ESXi/ESX servers in production environments. For more information, see Support for running ESX/ESXi as a nested virtualization solution (2009916).