The FREE version of ESXi 5.1 is limited to 32GB per server.
- ESXi 5.1 requires a host machine with at least two cores.
- ESXi 5.1 supports only LAHF and SAHF CPU instructions.
- ESXi 5.1 requires the NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS.
If your computer is not listed on the VMware HCL, it may still be possible to install and run VMware ESXi 5.1 on your laptop, desktop, or server. The HCL exists because the server vendor and VMware have certified and tested ESXi 5.1 will function correctly, on the servers listed on the HCL.
Register with VMware.com and Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1
Open the following link in your web browser
Click the License and Download Tab
The following page will be displayed when you have successfully logged into the VMware Download Center.
Click the download link for VMware ESXi 5.1 (CD ISO) Installable to download the software required to install ESXi 5.1 and also download the VMware vSphere Client 5.1. The VMware vSphere Client 5.1 software is the client software that allows us to connect and manage the ESXi 5.1 server, this will be required in a later article.
Either use the Download Manager or Manually Download button (which uses your web browser). The CD ISO is only 301MB so should not take too long to download. We have a very slow internet connection, at approx 350 kB/sec, and it takes us approximately 10 minutes to download.
Once the downloads have been completed using your favourite MD5 and SHA1 checksum utility, confirm the downloads have been downloaded correctly, using the published MD5 and SHA1 checksums from the VMware website. We use the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utiliy 1.1 from http://raylin.wordpress.com/downloads/md5-sha-1-checksum-utility/.
Many VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 installations fail due to corrupt downloads.
Write (Burn) the VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso downloaded in Step 1, to a blank CDROM, using your favourite CD writing software. We use ISO Recorder (http://alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm). If you are using remote server utilities, e.g. HP iLo or Dell iDRAC,. you can attach the virtual CDROM drive in the server to the VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso ISO, so there is no requirement to write a CDROM.
This is a step which is often missed, ensure the BIOS BOOT order is set to BOOT from the CDROM Device or ATAPI device in the server, otherwise the computer will not BOOT from the CDROM.
Power on the Computer, the computer will BOOT from the CDROM, and the following BOOT screen will be displayed
We have written an Article here on How to Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy. After you have completed the ESXi 5.1 installation, shutdown the server, remove the USB flash drive or SD card, and duplicate it using our Article.
When prompted select a disk to install ESXi on, in the following example, we have two disks connected to this computer, a single 1GB disk, and a 40GB disk. We are going to use the small disk for the OS. The larger 40GB disk will be used later for the storage of virtual machines.
- Function Key 11
All data will be erase, as the disk will be repartitioned.
ESXi 5.1.0 will operate in evaluation mode for 60 days. This is the same mode as a FULLY LICENSED ESXi 5.0 server. If you wish to evaluate all the bells and whistles that ESXi 5.0 has to offer, do not register your FREE license. for 60 days, this will allow you to evaluate ESXi 5.0 server fully. On day 59/60, Apply your FREE license to continue using the product, or you will not be able to power on any virtual machines.
The following screen is displayed when VMware ESXi 5.1.0 first boots
Press F2 to Customize System, you will be prompted to enter the root username and password.
Select IP Configuration
Enter your DNS suffix (the domain name for your network). Make sure you have created a DNS A Record in your DNS, so that this server can be resolved correctly through forward and reverse lookups.
Press Escape, the following screen will appear, select Y(es) to apply changes.
You will notice on the console screen, the server now has a hostname configured, and correct static IP Address.
Congratulations you have successfully installed and configured VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1.
Part 2 of the Series has now been published here