As an alternative to installing vCenter Server on a Windows machine, you can download the VMware vCenter Server Appliance. The vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine optimized for running vCenter Server and associated services.

The vCenter Server Appliance has the default user name root and password vmware.

Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2 are not supported for the vCenter Server Appliance.


Version 5.0.1 of the vCenter Server Appliance uses PostgreSQL for the embedded database instead of IBM DB2, which was used in vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.

The vCenter Server Appliance does not support Linked Mode configuration. The vCenter Server Appliance does not support IPv6.


The embedded database is not configured to manage an inventory that contains more than 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. If you use the embedded database with the vCenter Server Appliance, exceeding these limits can cause numerous problems, including causing vCenter Server to stop responding.

For information about configuring the vCenter Server Appliance, see the vCenter Server and Host Management documentation.

Verify that vSphere Client is installed.

You can deploy the vCenter Server Appliance only on hosts that are running ESX version 4.x or ESXi version 4.x or later.

The vCenter Server Appliance requires at least 7GB of disk space, and is limited to a maximum size of 80GB. The vCenter Server Appliance can be deployed with thin-provisioned virtual disks that can grow to the maximum size of 80GB. If the host machine does not have enough free disk space to accommodate the growth of the vCenter Server Appliance virtual disks, vCenter Server might cease operation, and you will not be able to manage your vSphere environment.


From the vSphere 5 download page on the VMware Web site, download the .VMDK and .OVF files for the vCenter Server appliance onto your system.

Save the .VMDK and .OVF files in the same folder.


In the vSphere Client, select File > Deploy OVF Template and enter the path to the .OVF file on your system.


Follow the prompts in the Deploy OVF Template wizard to create the vCenter Server Appliance.

If you do not want to commit to using the maximum 80GB of disk space at deployment, deploy the OVF with thin provisioning. In the Disk Format panel of the wizard, select Thin provisioned format.