You can start an installation or upgrade script by typing boot command-line options at the boot command line.

At boot time you might need to specify options to access the kickstart file. You can enter boot options by pressing Shift+O in the boot loader. For a PXE boot installation, you can pass options through the kernelopts line of the boot.cfg file. See About the boot.cfg File and PXE Booting the ESXi Installer.

A ks=... option must be given, to specify the location of the installation script. Otherwise, a scripted installation or upgrade will not start. If ks=... is omitted, the text installer will proceed.

Supported boot options are listed in Boot Options.


Start the host.


When the ESXi installer window appears, press Shift+O to edit boot options.

ESXi Installer screen


At the runweasel command prompt, type ks=location of installation script plus boot command line options

You type the following boot options:

ks= nameserver= ip= netmask= gateway=