Installating vSphere ESXi on a USB stick

Like most of you I’m running ESXi on my server at home because the
license is free. I’m just a one person company so I don’t have the money (or want to spend it on other stuff) for vSphere ESX. For my tests vSphere ESXi is enough.

As could could read in previous posts, my servers have a card reader in them. So I installed ESX 3.5i on a flash card and let me server boot from them.

But what about vSphere ESXi? Lucky the procedure to install vSphere ESXi on a USB stick or flash card hasn’t changed. But just to make sure:

  1. First get the following tools: 7-Zip(Free), WinImage(Demo)
  2. Download the ESXi ISO (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.0.0-164009.x86_64.iso)
  3. Open the ISO with 7-Zip
  4. Open “image.tgz” with 7-Zip
  5. Browse to “image.tgz.temptarusrlibvmwareinstallerVMware-VMvisor-big-xxxxxx-x86_64.dd.bz2”
  6. Extract “VMware-VMvisor-big-xxxxxx-x86_64.dd”
  7. Open WinImage and go to Disk, click on “Restore Virtual Harddisk Image on physical drive”
  8. Select a physical drive
  9. Select “VMware-VMvisor-big-xxxxxx-x86_64.dd”
  10. And click “yes” to write the DD image to the USB Dis

Note: You can replace xxxxxx by the version number of the download.

About Michael
Michael Wilmsen is a VMware training/consultant (no specific order) with more than 15 years in the IT industry. Main focus is VMware vSphere, Horizon View and Site Recovery Manager with a deepdive to performance. Michael is VCDX 210, VCAP 4/5 certified, has been rewarded with the vExpert title from 2011, is a PernixPro, Nutanix Tech Champion and a Nutanix Platform Professional.

4 Comments to “Installating vSphere ESXi on a USB stick”

  1. By Collin C. MacMillan, September 4, 2009 @ 01:01

    This process has changed considerably since ESX 3.5. In fact, the CD-ROM installer will find your USB flash drive and install directly to it without resorting to imaging or dd.

    http://solori.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/preview-install-esxi-4-0-to-flash/

    The process – from CD-boot to initial start-up – is about 14 minutes long, depending on CD-ROM speed and flash speed.

    Cheers!

    Collin C. MacMillan
    Sr. Infrastructure Consultant
    Solution Oriented LLC

  2. By Collin C. MacMillan, September 4, 2009 @ 01:01

    This process has changed considerably since ESX 3.5. In fact, the CD-ROM installer will find your USB flash drive and install directly to it without resorting to imaging or dd.

    http://solori.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/preview-install-esxi-4-0-to-flash/

    The process – from CD-boot to initial start-up – is about 14 minutes long, depending on CD-ROM speed and flash speed.

    Cheers!

    Collin C. MacMillan
    Sr. Infrastructure Consultant
    Solution Oriented LLC

  3. By Mike, September 4, 2009 @ 08:32

    Hi,

    I tested if the installer will find the USB drive and you right! Thanks!

  4. By Mike, September 4, 2009 @ 08:32

    Hi,

    I tested if the installer will find the USB drive and you right! Thanks!

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.