ESXi has come a long way over the last few years in terms of features and functionality, but one of the other things VMware has done has been to dramatically simplify the hypervisor installer. ESXi v6 is by far the easiest version i’ve ever installed. Here are the steps:
1. Insert the media. In my case i’m installing into a VM so i attached the media to a new ’empty’ VM. Once the media is mounted, power on the server and you should see the following screen. The default option will be to boot to the installer and there will be a timeout which will give you 10 seconds to choose to boot from local disk. If you do nothing the ESXI installer will begin. Pressing enter will skip the countdown
2. As the ESXi installed begins to boot you will see the progress bar and file names will scroll up the screen for a few seconds
3. Following this the yellow screen below will appear and again a progress bar will indicate progress, this time accross the bottom of the screen
4. You will receive the welcome sreen which contains a link to the hardware compatability list. If you need to its a good idea to review this, especially in production environments where running on non supported hardware could mean your infrastructure is unsupported by VMware. Click Enter to continue
5. The End User License Agreement will appear. Click F11 to accept and continue
6. A scan will begin to detect any storage in your server. Once this has completed a summary of the discovery will appear and you will be prompted to select an instal location. Use the up and down cursor keys and click Enter to select the required location
7. Next you will be prompted to select the default Keyboard layout. Again use the cursor keys and click Enter to select
8. The next prompt is to set the root password. Enter this twice and click Enter to continue
9. A scan will begin of your system which gathers information required for the install. This takes a few seconds to complete
10. Following the scan the install will summarise your installer version and location selected earlier. If you are happy with the settings, click F11 to continue
11. The installation will begin and a progress bar will show you the progress
12. Once the progress bar reaches 100%, you will be presented with a message informing you that the installation is complete. Remove the media at this point and click Enter to reboot the server. If you dont remove the medai at this point the server may just boot back into the installer again.
13. The server will reboot and once ESXi is up and running you will see a screen like this. By default ESXi will pick up a DHCP address if a DHCP is available and contactable on your network. You can now access your host using the vSphere Client or vCenter.