You can PXE boot the ESXi installer using gPXE.

Verify that your environment has the following components:

The ESXi installer ISO image downloaded from the VMware Web site

HTTP Web server that is accessible by your target ESXi hosts

DHCP server configured for PXE booting: /etc/dhcpd.conf is configured for client hosts with a TFTP server and the initial boot file set to gpxelinux.0/undionly.kpxe. See Sample DHCP Configuration.

Server with a hardware configuration that is supported with ESXi 5.0. See the Hardware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php.

gPXELINUX

(Optional) ESXi installation script. See About Installation and Upgrade Scripts.

Use a native VLAN in most cases. If you want to specify the VLAN ID to be used with PXE booting, check that your NIC supports VLAN ID specification.

1

Copy the contents of the ESXi installer ISO image to the /var/www/html directory on the HTTP server.

2

Modify the boot.cfg file with the information for the HTTP server.

Use the following code as a model, where XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is the HTTP server IP address. The kernelopt line is optional. Include that option to specify the location of the installation script for a scripted installation.


title=Loading ESX installer
kernel=http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/tboot.b00
kernelopt=ks=http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/esxi_ksFiles/ks.cfg
modules=http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/b.b00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/useropts.gz --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/k.b00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/a.b00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/s.v00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/weaselin.v00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/tools.t00 --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/imgdb.tgz --- http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/imgpayld.tgz
3

gPXE boot the host and press Ctrl+B to access the GPT menu.

4

Enter the following commands to boot with the ESXi installer, where XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is the HTTP server IP address.

dhcp net0 ( if dchp is not set)
kernel -n mboot.c32 http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/mboot.c32
imgargs mboot.c32 -c http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/boot.cfg
boot mboot.c32