Most simple web server ever!

When I install VMware vSphere on a server, I always (oke 9 out of 10 times) use a scripted install. A scripted installation has a couple of advantages over a manual installation like:

  • Every host is installed with the same configuration, limiting the possibilities of a misconfiguration by a administrator (even after a year).
  • The installation is finished in less time
  • You have a good disaster recovery of your hosts available.
  • You can (re)installed multiple hosts at the same time.
  • You have a good documentation how your hosts is configured.
  • You can have a cup of coffee while installing 🙂

Almost every server has a IPMI, ILO or DRAC interface enabling you to connect a ISO file to a virtual CD-ROM player so you can start your ESXi installation.

In the past I used a USB stick to host the ks.cfg file. So when the ESXi installation kicks-off you just point the kickstart to the USB stick and your ready to go.
But since a couple of years ESXi is more often installed on a local SD card. This SD card is connected to a internal USB interface. So you have to configure your kickstart file to install on the correct USB interface or you will overwrite your USB stick where your kickstart file is located (yes, it happened to me a couple of times).
In large environments you may want to use a PXE boot environment where you can hosts you kickstart file on a NFS share or a web server. But what if you only have to install a couple of hosts in a small environment?

A simple solution to this problem is to host a small web server on your laptop where you host the kickstart file.

For Microsoft Windows there are a couple of simple small web servers available but I’m using a Mac for my daily work. So will searching the Internet for a good, small and free web server I stumbled on a threat where a guy pointed out that Mac OSX has his on built in web server in Python!

Just open a terminal screen an give the following command:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080

This command will start a simple, small and free web server on you Mac in the current directory (beware of your firewall!) on port 8080. Just as simple as that!

I haven’t tested this on a Windows installation where Python is installed, but I can imaging that it will work.

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.

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