Installing ESXi 7.0 on a whitebox server

Posted on Sunday, March 7, 2021


 

Server specs

 

It can be a pain to get common hardware working with ESXi especially network cards….


Motherboard

Gigabyte Z390 UD LGA 1151

https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard/Z390-UD-rev-10#kf

CPU

Core i3-8100 Coffee Lake

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/126688/intel-core-i3-8100-processor-6m-cache-3-60-ghz.html

Memory

32 GB 2x16GB
DDR4-3200 Corsair

https://www.microcenter.com/product/616299/corsair-vengeance-lpx-32gb-(2-x-16gb)-ddr4-3200-pc4-25600-cl16-dual-channel-desktop-memory-kit-cmk32gx4m2e3200---black

Ethernet Card

Gigabit Pro/1000 CT PCI-e Desktop Adapter EXPI9301CT

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-EXPI9301CT-Gigabit-Desktop-Adapter/dp/B001CXWWBE/



Download software and Key

 

 

Head over to

https://www.vmware.com/try-vmware.html [1]

 

 


 

Scroll down and click on VMware vSphere Hypervisor (64 bit)


 

 



Login with your VMware account or create one

 

 


 

 




Click Register


 

 

Fill out the form and checkbox the agree and click on Sign up.


After you do that….

 

 

 

You should see a license key and a button to manually download it.

 

Click the download button and record the license key somewhere.

 

 

 

 

Create Bootable USB

 

Create a bootable USB drive using Rufus.
You need a USB stick that you can wipe out.
Head over to https://rufus.ie/ [2] and download rufus.

Run Rufus.

 


Select the USB drive to become the boot drive




 

Click Select then find the ESI 7.0 ISO you just downloaded






Make sure MBR and BIOS or UEFI are selected then click Start.



Last warning!!

Click OK
And that is it.

 

 


Installation

 

Plug the USB into the machine and start it up!

 

 

 





 

Press enter to install ESXi 7.0

 

 


Press F11


 




Select a disk and press enter







Press enter to confirm you want to wipe out the disk

 



 

Choose keyboard and press enter



Enter a password and press enter


 

 

Press F11 to begin install process


 

Watch the progress bar



 


After it completes press Enter to reboot

 

After it reboots remove the usb drive.


 


Post installation setup

 

You should see something like this once the server reboots.

 

 

I like to change the IP address and make it static so I am going to do that now.


 

 

Press F2 and enter password


 

Select Configuration Management Network and press enter





Go to IPv4 Configuration and press enter




 Set it to static and enter new IPv4 Address you want and press enter


 

Press Y


 



Press Esc a few times to get back to the main screen.

 

Now you should see the new IPv4 Address show up.

 

 


 


Login and register

 

Using your IP open up the web interface

Ex.
https://192.168.0.242/

 





 

Login as root with your password


 


You will see that you have 60 days to register it.

You have the key so let’s just register it.



 

 

Click on Manager under Host then open up the Licensing tab


 







Click on Assign License

 

 

Enter your license then click Check License


 

If it says it is valid click Assign License


 


You are good to go and you license never expires J


 

References

 

[1]        VMWare trial

            https://www.vmware.com/try-vmware.html

                Accessed 3/2021

[2]        RUFUS

            https://rufus.ie/

                Accessed 3/2021

 

 


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