VMware ESXi 7.x on Windows 10 by VMware Workstation

If you are getting into server virtualization and private cloud, especially with VMware ESXi hypervisor, here is the good news. You can easily install the VMware ESXi free version on your Windows desktop or laptop computer for learning purpose. This platform can host several VMs and virtual NAS with the required internal network to have a properly working test/demo environment.

The latest VMware ESXi 7 has several improvements and new features. We can try this hypervisor on our PC before upgrading or installing in the production environment. We will be using VMware workstation to host the ESXi 7 on Windows 10 computer. A similar method will work on VMware player as well.

Requirements:

  • A powerful computer (It should be able to handle VMware workstation, ESXi VM, and virtual machines inside ESXi) – I’m demonstrating below steps on my i7 desktop computer with 16GB RAM.
  • Latest VMware workstation (or VMware Player)
  • A free VMware account to download the ESXi ISO file.

Installation Steps

1) Go to the VMware official web site to download the correct installation file. You need to register and have an account.

ESXi Download Link

NOTE: Since I assume you will be doing this setup on the latest computer which supports hardware virtualization technology, I do not need to emphasise that here. Make sure that you have a VT supported processor and it is enabled in the BIOS.  If not, enable it in BIOS and confirm that the host Operating System is sensing it.

Find out more information about enabling vt-x in BIOS.vt-x enabled intel utility

2) Create a new virtual machine in VMware. Browse the downloaded ISO file. If your VMware workstation did not detect the correct ESXi version as 7.x, then select any of the older OS types as below.

Select The OS Type

3) I will not cover each step in creating a new virtual machine in VMware. But as mentioned earlier, allocate enough resources to this virtual machine. Because the virtual machines you create later inside this ESXi server will use the same resources you are allocating now.

4) Once the hardware summary looks fine, complete the creation and power on the VM. The installation will begin.

Hardware Summary

5) Most of the installation steps are easy to understand. I will mention the few essential steps here. Make sure that the installation is detecting the virtual hard disk you allocated earlier.

Hard Disk Of The VM ESXi

6) Configure the root password which is vital to access the server later.

Root Password

7) Reboot the VM once you get the below message. By default, the VMware will disconnect the mounted ISO file automatically to avoid booting from installation medium again. But if that doesn’t happen for you, you need to manually eject the CD/ISO from the virtual machine before it reboots.

Reboot After The Installation

8) Once successfully rebooted, it will show the IP address of the management console to configure ESXi 7 server.

Initial Screen

Setup VMware ESXi Server

9) On the earlier screen, press F2 to customize the server. It will pop up for the root password.

Asking For Root Password

10) Here we can change several basic settings. It is better to configure the management network to a static IP.

Configure Management Network

11) Since this VM has only one network card, we can quickly go to IPv4 configuration to make changes. If the server has multiple network adapters, then we need to select the proper network card and enter the settings.

IP4 Settings

12) Select the static IPv4 option and enter the desired settings below.

Assigning IPv4 Address Manually For ESXi

13) Basically, for this demonstration, I did only the management network change. If you are setting up for a proper test environment with DNS server and other nodes, you can visit the DNS configuration to setup DNS server IP and a hostname for ESXi server.

14) Once these settings are done, save them by pressing ‘Y’. This action will restart management services.

Save The Settings

15) You will see the new network IP and its type as below—this static IP of the server can be accessed via the web browser.

Modified Changes

16) Type the IP of the server in a web browser. I prefer to use Google Chrome or Firefox browser. Enter the root credentials to log in.

Accessing ESXi In Browser

Here is the screen I could access the ESXi server from my host computer Windows 10.

ESXi Home Page

Since this virtual machine is running on the VMware, we should have a proper network type to communicate between guest and host computers. Bridged mode, NAT and Host-only network types are applicable here.

17) Use the license key file and activate the product.

Activation

Now your VMware ESXi 7 server is ready on your Windows 10 computer, thanks to VMware workstation. You can create some virtual machines, NAS OS and set up a test lab. Even if your physical computer is powerful or you can connect one more physical computers to your network, you can have one more ESXi server on your network to setup VMware cluster/VMotion.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

28 thoughts on “VMware ESXi 7.x on Windows 10 by VMware Workstation”

  1. Hi,
    I followed your instructions and it works very well. It is certainly a great way to learn the ins and outs of ESXi and vSphere Client.

    I have had no problem installing 32bit OSes inside ESXi 4u1, inside Workstation 7.01.

    However, when I try to install a 64bit OS inside ESXi 4u1, inside Workstation 7.01, such as CentOS 5.1 x86_64bit, it gives an error saying that “Your CPU does not support long mode. Use a 32bit distribution”.

    Is there a work-around for this, or are we just pushing VMWare too far by trying to install a 64bit OS here?

    Reply
  2. missing information:
    – The physical machine is a Core i7 930 Workstation with 12GB RAM.
    – The host OS is Windows 7, 64 bit.
    – Other 64Bit OSes, including CentOS 5.1 x86_64bit, are happy inside Workstation 7.

    Reply
  3. Hello!

    I’m trying to install a 64bit Virtual Machine in my ESXi 5 (running in my VMware Workstation 7) but when I try to start the VM the ESXi says that I don’t have a 64bit machine (I have a Intel Core i7 2.67Ghz) .

    Do you have any idea about this error?

    Reply
  4. hi,
    i have been trying to install esx 5 on a vm station 7. I have already got 3.5 and 4.1 running with no issues. When the installation starts it complains “no network adapters”. I have tested the connections, it works fine, all other vm guests can use the network, I have also changed the network config on the vm host-only and NAT , but same issue.
    Has anyone of you come across this issue before?
    thanks
    Harry

    Reply
    • Hi,
      Use to have the same issue with Citrix Xen Server but it was a problem with network card driver Broadcom and I updated but I had the same issue and then i downloaded Xen Server 5.1.0 which solved the issue.

      /Fredrik

      Reply
  5. Hi,
    I try to install esx 5 on vmware server server console version 1.0.4. I have alredy installed esx version 4.1.0 without problem. Now when i install the esx 5 i have a purple screen with this error message: No place on disk to dump data.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance.
    Luky

    Reply
    • @luky, i tried vmware console but unfortunetely i couldn’t login on to any vms as vm workstation (probably i am not familiar with the cosole) even though the message appears the vms are running. Strangely after uninstall workstation and reinstalling did the trick of vsphere 5 😉
      thanks for your help.
      Harry

      Reply
  6. what could be the benefits to install ESX on Workstation? sounds like you are running virtual guest inside another virtual guest… I can see a lack of performance, but what kind of advantages do you get??

    Reply
    • Let me answer your question.
      ESXi/ESX is initially designed to work on hardware, in a performance critical situation, the method suggested in this guide is totally useless.

      “BUT”

      When talking about the case that you want to LEARN the technology, this guide is a good reference to set-up a low-cost experimental site that you can play around.

      You can use existing Hardware without having to format your harddisk/buy another one to install a ESX/ESXi.
      You can use another VM in the workstation as VCentre.
      You can just throw the whole thing into Recycle Bin if you no-longer need it.

      That is why I think this guide is a very good reference.

      Reply
  7. I have a desktop class machine with 4GB RAM and 500GB blank HDD and i want to install ESXi 5.0. But i want to create partitions(say 3 or 2) and on 1 of those partitions i would like to install the ESXi host, is this possible and if yes how can such partition be created… ??????

    Please Help.
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  8. I cannot install 2008 R2 in my esxi which is running in my vmware workstation 7. Any solutions. Pls do update moderator. Cheers and merry XMAS to all !!!

    Reply
  9. Dear all,

    I have installed vmware esxi 4 on vmware workstation 8 on a HP Probook 4530s laptop with configuration cori5 2.4Mhz 6 GB RAM with windows 7 64 bit operating system the vmware esxi 4.0 server has been installed successfully but after some time it gives the message” guest host stop the processor” …

    kindly guide me how to resolve it .

    Thanks
    Mashkoor Qadir
    System Engineer,
    Redmath Pvt Ltd

    Reply
  10. I had installed ESXi server on a VM in workstation 7. I installed
    window 7 on another VM and installed client software on it. I am able
    to connect to the ESXi server, I created a VM on the ESXi
    server but when I am trying to start the VM it is giving this error
    (running ESX in a virtual machine requires the outer virtual machine
    to be configured for running a vmware ESX guest operating system.) How
    to do that? My machine is intel VT enabled. I am unable to figure out
    the problem. Pl suggest a solution.

    Reply
  11. Hi,
    I had installed ESXi 5.0 on a VMWare Workstation 8 (IP add: 192.168.81.11; subnet mask: 255.255.255.0; default gateway: 192.168.81.1). I had installed a windows 2003 domain controller (IP add: 192.168.81.1). I can be able to ping the ESXi IP add from the windows. When I test the function “Test Management Network” in the ESXi host, it shows that the hostname can not be resolved. Please give me the solution to fix the issue. your help will be appreciated!

    Reply
  12. hello.
    when i instal the program he want user and passwor,its automaticly gives user name “root” ..what next how i pass that ? i tryed alt+f1…tryed few password and nothing how i can pass this screen ?

    Reply
  13. hello.
    I have already installed winXP 64bit on EXSI server 5.0 …but em not getting any way to to connect my WinXP machine to network…My drivers r not working as em able to install dem….but WinXP is not finding Any Hardware….plz help me

    Reply

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