ESX requires several partitions.

If you delete a required partition, be sure to create a new one of the same type. You cannot define the sizes of the /boot, vmkcore, and /vmfs partitions when you use the graphical or text installation modes. You can define these partition sizes when you do a scripted installation.

ESX Required Partitions describes the required partitions.

ESX Required Partitions

Mount Point

Type

Size

Location

Partition Description

/boot

ext3

The ESX boot disk requires 1.25GB of free space and includes the /boot and vmkcore partitions. The /boot partition alone requires 1100MB.

Physical partition

The boot drive usually defaults to the specified /boot partition location.

Stores information required to boot the ESX host system. For example, this is where the grub boot loader resides.

Not applicable

swap

600MB recommended minimum

1600MB maximum

Use the default value applied during installation.

Virtual disk in a VMFS volume

Allows ESX to use disk space when more memory is needed than the physical RAM allows.

Note

Do not confuse the ESX swap partition with virtual machine swap space. See the Resource Management Guide.

/

ext3

Calculated dynamically based on the size of the /usr partition. By default, the minimum size is 5GB and no /usr partition is defined.

Virtual disk in a VMFS volume

Contains the ESX operating system and services, accessible through the service console. Also contains third-party add-on services or applications you install.

Not applicable

VMFS3

esxconsole.vmdk: 1200MB

Physical partition located on one of the following:

Local or boot drive

Local SCSI volume

Networked SCSI volume

SAN

The service console must be installed on a VMFS datastore that is resident on a host's local disk or on a SAN disk that is masked and zoned to that particular host only.

Used to store virtual machines.

You can create any number of VMFS volumes on each LUN if the space is available.

VMFS2 is supported in read-only mode to import legacy virtual machines.

Not applicable

vmkcore

The ESX boot disk requires 1.25GB of free space and includes the /boot and vmkcore partitions. The /boot partition alone requires 1100MB.

Physical partition located on one of the following:

Local SCSI volume

Networked SCSI volume

SAN

Cannot be located on a software iSCSI volume.

Used to store core dumps for debugging and technical support.

If multiple ESX hosts share a SAN, configure a vmkcore partition with 100MB for each host.