VMware Cloud Community
ego170477
Contributor
Contributor

Installing ESXi on VMWare Server doesn't work

I downloaded ESXi and tried installing it on a virtual machine in VMWare Server. The installation doesn't proceed when it says in the screen: "Starting VMWare ESX Server 3i: Vmkernel loaded successfully". I see that my CPU is fully busy with VMWare Server, but no matter how long I wait, the installation doesn't proceed. Is there something I should pay attention to when installing ESXi on VMWare Server?

Tags (3)
0 Kudos
10 Replies
weinstein5
Immortal
Immortal

Welcome to the forums - I do not thnk that is possible - running ESXi under VMware Server - it might be possible under Workstation -

If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful
0 Kudos
KristianEklund
Contributor
Contributor

VMware Server is not compatible with ESXi yet.

On our quad-core PE2950 it took a few hours to

get past the yellow boot-screen. Then every popup

about license and installation-destination took over

a minute.

I moved over all VM's to an external HDD and installed

ESXi instead and started converting them back to ESX

with VMware Converter.

0 Kudos
RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

You need (1) the latest beta build of Workstation 6.5 beta, and (2) a physical host with VT support, in order to install ESX/ESXi as a guest.

0 Kudos
wn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can install ESXi in a VMware Server 1.0.6 virtual machine, and the install only takes a few minutes. It will run and allow you to connect with a web browser to download the VI Client from it. The VI Client can connect to it and you can even create a virtual machine. However, it will not allow you to actually run any virtual machines in it.

If you still want to do the install, even though it doesn't allow any VMs to run in it, you'll first need a computer with Intel VT enabled and at least two CPU cores. You'll also need the following settings in the .vmx file to install ESXi (create the VM using the "Other" guest OS option).

numvcpus = "2"

memsize = "1024"

scsi0.present = "TRUE"

scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"

Ethernet0.present = "TRUE"

Ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"

monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = "TRUE"

monitor_control.vt32 = "TRUE"

0 Kudos
bensykes
Contributor
Contributor

It does work - with VMware Server 2.Only 32-bit guest VM's can be installed in ESXi, you'll probably need a CPU that supports VT and performance is pretty slow. But it does work.

See my blog post: http://eightfour.com.au/content/blogcategory/31/57/

0 Kudos
admin
Immortal
Immortal

I have some minor corrections to the aforementioned blog post. The correct configuration options for an ESXi guest are:

monitor.virtual_exec = "hardware"
monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = "TRUE"

The most innocuous guestOS type is 'other.'

The deprecated option 'monitor_control.vt32' option is ignored.

With the 'monitor_control.restrict_backdoor' option set, you should not need to set 'vmx.allowNested.'

Also, I believe that SMP ESXi VMs should work. Note that you do need to give the VM a minimum of 1GB of memory, and ESXi does stall for at least a minute on 'Initializing scheduler.'

0 Kudos
TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

That is interesting, so you are saying that Nested VM's should run?

If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or correct buttons to award points

Tom Howarth

VMware Communities User Moderator

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
0 Kudos
admin
Immortal
Immortal

Nested VMs should run with VMware Server 2 on the outside and VMware ESXi on the inside, subject to the same constraints as with VMware Workstation 6.5 on the outside.

The outer VM needs to use hardware virtualization (Intel VT or AMD-V on supported processors), and the inner VM is restricted to 32-bits only.

Not that this is supported, mind you, but it should work.

0 Kudos
bensykes
Contributor
Contributor

Jmattson,

Thanks - i'll update the blog post. Good to get some more information on it!

0 Kudos
bensykes
Contributor
Contributor

jmattson,

I just tried setting up the ESXi VM with 2 virtual CPU's and then enabling 2 CPU's in the debian i386 SMP host within the ESXi VM and got a memory allocation error with 256MB. After setting it to use > 1GB (1048MB was enough), the VM within ESXi booted. So i'll add that in that both the VM's need to have > 1GB of ram allocated for SMP to work.

1 CPU should be enough for most testing really anyway - but nice to have SMP working even if a little slow.

Here's some info from within the ESXi VM running Debian:

esxi-host-debian:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo |egrep "(processor|model|flags)"
processor : 0
model : 23
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss nx constant_tsc pni
processor : 1
model : 23
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss nx constant_tsc pni

0 Kudos