ESXi 7 is a bare-metal hypervisor that provides virtualization for x86-64 architecture servers. It is part of the VMware vSphere family, and it is used to create, manage, and run virtual machines on a single physical server. This guide will walk you through the steps to install ESXi 7 on your home lab setup.
Before you start, make sure you have the following:
- A compatible server: The server should have a minimum of 2 CPUs, 8 GB RAM, and a minimum of 60 GB of storage.
- A bootable USB drive: The ESXi 7 ISO image needs to be burned to a bootable USB drive. You can use the “Rufus” tool to burn the ISO to the USB drive.
- A keyboard, mouse and monitor: For the installation process, you will need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor connected to the server.
- Network connectivity: The server should be connected to a network that provides internet connectivity for downloading updates and packages.
Step 1: Boot from the USB Drive
- Insert the bootable USB drive into the server and power it on.
- During the boot process, press the key to enter the Boot Menu (usually F11 or F12).
- Select the USB drive from the Boot Menu and press enter to boot from it.
Step 2: Start the Installation Process
- On the initial screen, select the language and keyboard layout.
- Click “Next” and select the option “Install”.
- The installation wizard will then check for compatibility of the hardware with ESXi 7. If all is good, it will proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Partition the Disk
- Select the disk that you want to install ESXi 7 on and click “Next”.
- You can either use the entire disk or create a custom partition.
- If you are using the entire disk, ESXi 7 will automatically create a partition for itself.
- If you are creating a custom partition, select the disk and click “Edit”.
- In the next screen, select “Custom” and create a new partition of at least 60 GB.
Step 4: Configure Network Settings
- ESXi 7 needs to be connected to a network for downloading updates and packages.
- In the next screen, select the network adapter that you want to use and configure the network settings.
- If you are using DHCP, the IP address, subnet mask, and gateway will be automatically assigned.
- If you are using a static IP, enter the IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS servers.
Step 5: Complete the Installation
- Review the configuration and click “Finish” to start the installation.
- The installation process will take several minutes to complete.
- Once the installation is complete, remove the USB drive and reboot the server.
Step 6: Connect to the ESXi 7 Host
- After rebooting, the server will start running ESXi 7.
- You can connect to the ESXi 7 host using a web browser.
- Enter the IP address of the ESXi 7 host in the web browser and press enter.
- The ESXi 7 host will display the login screen. Enter the username and password that you set during the installation process.
- Once logged in, you can start creating virtual machines