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