Do you want to play around with latest server virtualization software from VMware on your normal home or office computer?, here is the chance. This guide shows how to install VMware vSphere 5 (ESXi 5) in VMware workstation or Player with Windows 7. In this way you can learn,experiment and even setup your testing virtual lab in normal Intel PC.
vSphere 5 is having plenty of new and enhanced features than earlier versions. The new features and changes can be seen in Compute with vSphere Auto deploy, new virtual machine format (Version -8 ) with 3D support for Windows Aero and USB 3.0 support. Also, in storage, network, security, availability and Scalability. You can find out more detailed features here in official site. Altogether, it’s a great server virtualization software from VMware. Let’s see how to install it in normal Windows Operating System.
Steps to Install VMware vSphere 5 (ESXi 5) in VMware Workstation With Windows 7
1) Make sure your computer processor supports hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) and its enabled in BIOS. If not, enable it in BIOS and check whether the Operating System in sensing it.
It is enabled in my Intel processor computer which is running Windows 7 32bit.
Memory – vSphere 5 requires minimum 2GB memory for virtual machine, so make sure you have enough of physical memory to allocate for virtual machine and physical computer. I have 3GB physical memory in host.
2) Download the vSphere 5 (ESXi 5.0) and Client version 5 from official site here. Registration required.
3) Create a new virtual machine in VMware workstation or player. Browse the ESXi 5.0 installable ISO file you downloaded. Unfortunately the OS type can’t be detected automatically. So, select the Guest operating system as ‘VMware ESX’ and ‘ESX Server 4’ as version. Do not worry it will work for ESXi 5 also.
4) Set the location of virtual machine and hard disk size also. Here is the summary of my ESXi 5 virtual machine. If you like to customize some settings, such as processor cores, network, sound and extra hard disks, then press ‘Customize Hardware’
5) Start the virtual machine and select ‘Standard Installer’ option. Press ‘ENTER’ to continue the installation in next screen.
6) Press F11 for EULA. Select the disk to install if you have multiple virtual disks here. I created and started the vSphere 5 virtual machine with single 40GB disk.
Next screen will be to select the keyboard layout and type the root password. Its better to assign root password (which should be with minimum 7 characters) now.
7) For some strange reasons the installation processes returned an error message for non availability of VT supported processor in my host. But as you could see in step 1, I already confirmed the VT-x support by Intel utility. Also, I run all Operating Systems which require VT support in same host computer.
Here is the warning message I got from vSphere 5 even though my host supports VT and its enabled.
Press Enter to continue the installation if you are sure your physical computer is having hardware virtualization enabled processor.
8.) Once installation completed, remove the ISO from CD drive of virtual machine and restart the VM. It should boot properly and receive DHCP IP as a management IP.
Always better to have static IP for vSphere 5 server.
9) Press F2 to customize the server management settings. Enter the root password which was given during the installation.
You need to make sure the virtual machine’s network setting is configured properly to communicate with other hosts or guests. In my case, I will be accessing this vSphere 5 virtual machine from my host computer Windows 7, so I set up the network ‘Host-only’ network type in VMware network settings which will enable the host and guest network communication.
Change the IP v4 address to static and provide the IP address suitable for your network.
You have to apply the settings and restart the management network service to take effect of new IP.
Check the connectivity by pinging the vSphere ESXi 5 server. I could ping to 188.8.131.52 from my physical windows 7 computer.
10) Access the server IP address in your internet browser.
Ignore or continue the certificate error, you must be able to see the Getting start page which will redirect you to download vSphere 5 client.
Note- This will take you to VMware’s official site to download vSphere 5 client. If you already downloaded this client package (as shown in Step 2), then skip the download and install the client package.
I tried to connect vSphere 5 server with vSphere 4 client utility, but it gives the message to download the latest 5 client and install. So, you can’t access ESXi5 with older versions of clients.
11) After installing the latest Client version, enter the IP of server and root password.
You can ignore certificate error here too.
12) Here is the working VMware vSphere 5 in VMware workstation with Windows 7. Performance is normal because I have only 3GB memory in host. No doubt, this is very helpful for learning and experiment purpose.
Its always nice to have these type of server virtualization software in normal PCs and create virtual machines in it.
If you are interested in create and connect NAS (Network Access Storage) in same testing environment, you can install FreeNAS OS as a separate virtual machine and connect to vSphere 5. I explained step by step to connect FreeNAS with VMware vSphere server here.