You can install a guest operating system from a CD-ROM or from an ISO image. Installing from an ISO image is typically faster and more convenient than a CD-ROM installation.

It might be necessary to change the boot order in the virtual machine’s BIOS settings. However, sometimes a virtual machine’s boot sequence progresses too quickly for a user to open a console to the virtual machine and enter BIOS setup. If this happens, select Boot Options on the Options tab of the Virtual Machine Properties dialog box, and select The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen. The virtual machine enters the BIOS setup the next time it starts.

Verify that the installation ISO image is present on a VMFS datastore or network file system (NFS) volume accessible to the ESX/ESXI host.

Verify that you have the installation instructions provided by the operating system vendor.


Open the vSphere Client and log into the vCenter Server system or host on which the virtual machine resides.


Select an installation method.




Insert the installation CD-ROM for your guest operating system into the CD-ROM drive of your ESX/ESXi host.

ISO image


Right-click the virtual machine in the inventory list and select Edit Settings.


Click the Hardware tab and select CD/DVD Drive.


In the Device Type panel, select Datastore ISO File and browse for the ISO image for your guest operating system.


Right-click the virtual machine and select Power > Power On.

A green right arrow appears next to the virtual machine icon in the inventory list.


Follow the installation instructions provided by the operating system vendor.

Install VMware Tools.