You can install ESXi interactively on the local hard disk of the host machine. Use the vSphere Client to manage hosts directly and deploy virtual machines without a vCenter Server instance.

ESXi is the virtualization layer of vSphere that runs on physical hardware and abstracts system resources into multiple virtual machines.

Verify that your host machine hardware is supported. See the VMware Compatibility Guide at

Back up or migrate important data on the host machine.

Verify that your network environment meets the example requirements specified in Network Environment.

Verify that you have ESXi 5.1 installation media.

Verify that you have the installation media required to install a supported version of Windows.

Verify that you have administrative access to a Windows machine that has access to the scenario network.

Verify that you have connected a keyboard and monitor to the host to use the direct console, or that you can use a virtual direct console provided by a remote access card on the host machine.


You install the ESXi bare-metal hypervisor as the first step to creating a vSphere environment. In a typical interactive installation, you boot the ESXi installer and respond to the installer prompts to install ESXi to the local host disk.


You have installed ESXi on one of your machines, designated ESXi-A. After you finish the interactive installation of ESXi, use the direct console to configure your host. Assign the host a specific IP address and review the configuration options that the direct console provides.


You have installed and configured ESXi. To deploy virtual machines and perform administrative tasks, you must install the vSphere Client and use it to manage the host. You can download the vSphere Client installer binary from your host.


You have installed and configured ESXi. You can deploy the first virtual machine on your ESXi host by using the vSphere Client.