You use the ESXi CD/DVD or a USB flash drive to install the ESXi software onto a SAS, SATA, SCSI hard drive, or USB drive.

ESXi Embedded must not be on the host. ESXi Installable and ESXi Embedded cannot exist on the same host.

You must have the ESXi ISO file on CD or DVD. If you do not have the installation CD/DVD, you can create one.

Verify that the server hardware clock is set to UTC. This setting is in the system BIOS.

Verify that a keyboard and monitor are attached to the machine on which the ESXi software will be installed.

Consider disconnecting your network storage. This action decreases the time it takes the installer to search for available disk drives. Note that when you disconnect network storage, any files on the disconnected disks are unavailable at installation.

Do not disconnect a LUN that contains an existing ESX or ESXi installation. Do not disconnect a VMFS datastore that contains the Service Console of an existing ESX installation. These actions can affect the outcome of the installation.

Gather the information required by the ESXi installation wizard. See Required Information for ESXi Installation.


Insert the ESXi CD/DVD into the CD/DVD-ROM drive and restart the machine.


Set the BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM device.

See your hardware vendor documentation for information on changing boot order.


On the Select a Disk page, select the drive on which to install ESXi and press Enter.

Press F1 for information about the selected disk.


Do not rely on the disk order in the list to select a disk. The disk order is determined by the BIOS and might be out of order. This might occur on systems where drives are continuously being added and removed.

If the disk you selected contains data, the Confirm Disk Selection page appears.


Select the keyboard type for the host.

You can change the keyboard type after installation in the direct console.


Enter the root password for the host.

You can leave the password blank, but to secure the system from the first boot, enter a password. You can change the password after installation in the direct console.


Press F11 to start the installation.


When the installation is complete, remove the installation CD or DVD.


Press Enter to reboot the host.

If you are performing a new installation, or you chose to overwrite an existing VMFS datastore, during the reboot operation, VFAT scratch and VMFS partitions are created on the host disk.


Set the first boot device to be the drive on which you installed ESXi in Step 3.

For information about changing boot order, see your hardware vendor documentation.

Set up basic administration and network configuration for ESXi.