Home Server icon   Home Server (5) – VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation



5th post of the Home Server series in which I explain how I built my own server.

In previous posts I have shown how to install an SSD disk to your HP microserver Gen8 server. Even if you do not have this hardware, in this post I will show step by step how to install the VMWare ESXi 6.5

Download ISO image

Obviously you need the software you want to install. There is a factory ISO image ready to install in a HP Microserver Gen8 you can download here, but you can search for a generic image:
https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=OEM-ESXI65U2-HPE&productId=614

Now its time to boot your machine using the ISO. You have multiple methods, but I suggest creating a bootable USB.

Note: HP Gen 8 “Configure and Install” method didn’t worked for me with the following error: “No media found that matches the selected OS family. Please select a Valid Media/Path”
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Create bootable USB

Download and run Rufus software. Select your USB disk and the downloaded ESX image and wait until finishes creating it.
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation - Rufus bootable USB

Install ESX

Boot up machine from USB

Force the boot menu or change the order and run the USB to start the ESX 6.5 installation process
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Select disk

Select the disk in which you want the ESX to be installed (I used the disk i installed on the previous post.)
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Select keyboard layout

Select the keyboard layout you prefer
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Enter root password

Set the root password (dont forget it hehe)
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

MEMORY_SIZE Error (only if 4GB or less)

If during the installation you get the following error: “<MEMORY_SIZE ERROR: This host has X GiB of RAM. 4.00 Gib are needed, there is a way to cheat the checking requirements script.
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Press Alt+F1 to open a shell and login with “root” (no password is needed).

Run the following commands

# cd /usr/lib/vmware/weasel/util
# rm upgrade_precheck.pyc
# cp upgrade_precheck.py upgrade_precheck.py.old
# chmod 666 upgrade_precheck.py
# vi upgrade_precheck.py

Search for the string “MEM_MIN_SIZE and replace (4 * 1024) by a lower number like (2 * 1024).

VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Run the following command to get the /bin/python weasel/main.py PID (first column)

# ps -c | grep weasel (in this example the PID is 66929)

VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

And finally kill the process to make the installation restart:

# kill -9 <PID>

Confirm install

VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Finished – Console screen

In the main console screen of ESX it shows the URL in which you can connect to the web GUI (in the example http://192.168.0.106). VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

This IPV4 address (192.168.0.106) has been assigned dinamically via DHCP. Let’s configure it as a fixed static IP.

First steps after installing ESX

Enter the console settings screen

Press F12 so you will be asked for user password (the one you configured in a previous step)
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

From this menu previously configured settings can be changed like password, keyboard layout, management network… Also system logs can be viewed.

Configure management network

Instead of letting DHCP assign an IP, its better to configure an static IP.
Select the “Configure Management Network”
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installationIPv4 Configuration
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installationAnd enter the desired address, mask and gateway:
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

If does not apply in your environment, disable IPv6
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

And DNS servers and hostname can also be set
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

After applying changes, a reboot is needed
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Launch a ping with the newly configured management IP address and wait for it to reply
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Enter the web GUI

Browse to https://<YOUR_MANAGEMENT_IP> (in this example https://192.168.0.6, because the screenshot was taken before setting the static IP), and enter user and password (again the same credentials).
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

This is the main site in which you will manage your virtualization environment (unless you use a vcenter server).
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Enable Secure Shell (SSH)

Click “Actions”, select “Services” and click “Enable Secure Shell (SSH)”
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Now Its possible to connect via SSH to the management IP in case its needed at any time
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

Enable NTP Service

Try to start the NTP service by the following menu options:
In Host / Manage / Time & Date / NTP service / Start
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

In case it fails with an error..
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

…edit the NTP settings in Host / Manage / Time & Date / Edit settings, and set the following values or the servers you think will offer the best response times…
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

.. and try starting it again
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation
VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

So, now we have a flamant recently installed

One thought on “Home Server (5) – VMWare ESXi 6.5 installation

  1. Nice post, just an idea to speed up the installation next time.
    Within the ILO you can attach virtual media, mount the ISO and force via ILO to boot from CD-ROM and it will install.

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