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.

Interactive installation is the preferred way to install ESXi in small environments. Interactive installation does not require the use of scripts or an existing VMware Auto Deploy infrastructure. If you have not installed ESXi on the target disk, all data located on the drive is overwritten, including hardware vendor partitions, operating system partitions, and associated data.


Load the ESXi installer media in a physical or virtual drive on your host machine and restart the host machine.


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

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


Select the ESXi 5.1 installer in the boot menu and press Enter.


To accept the EULA, press F11.


Select the drive on which to install ESXi and press Enter.

If you are installing ESXi on a disk that contains a previous installation of ESXi or ESX, or a VMFS datastore, the installer provides you with options for upgrading.


To select the default keyboard layout for the host, press Enter.


To set the host password, type my_esx_password and retype the password to confirm it.


To begin installation, press F11.


After the installation finishes, remove the installation media and press Enter to restart the host.


(Optional) Repeat steps Step 1-Step 9 to install ESXi on another machine.

Two ESXi hosts are required for some of the scenarios in this publication.

You have successfully installed ESXi in evaluation mode. You can use all ESXi features for 60 days. You can later use the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere Client to enter a valid license key. In the absence of a DHCP server, the host has been assigned an IP address in the address block

Log in to the ESXi direct console and configure the host.