Apr 112010

First off, I’d like to say this is my first post on my new personal blog. Please be sure to check out my other blog I maintain for my company at https://www.digitallyaccurate.com/blog!

I thought I’d make the first post in relation to one of my most favorite things to play with; ESXi.

All over the internet there are many tutorials on putting ESXi on to a USB key using the installer image, and dd command on a working linux install. Here at my office, we have a HP Proliant ML350 G5 running ESXi. We didn’t use the method on these tutorials as there is an easier method.

First download the applicable VMware ESXi 4.X installer image (I’ve included links to the standard installer along with the special HP installer to take advantage of the HP monitoring hardware):

ESXi 4.X Standard Install


HP ESXi 4.X Installer (Includes HP CIM Provider)


Please note: I’ve seen a few tech documents stating different sizes required for the USB key. However in all my cases a simple 1GB usb key has worked great!

After downloading the ISO installer for VMware, burn it to a disk.

Insert the empty USB key into the server. If you using a HP server with the hidden USB ports on the main board, insert the usb key now aswell.

Boot off the CD and proceed with the typical VMware ESXi installation, however when it asks you what disk you would like to install ESXi to, choose the USB flash drive.

Follow through with the installation, and you now have a USB key with ESXi installed on it.

In my oppinion, I find this way easier and less time consuming then manually dd’ing the image from the compressed archives onto the USB key using a Linux system. It works, but like I said this method is easier, and takes up less time. (And I always feel safer using the manufacturers installer rather than manually moving/writing hidden images inside of installers).

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