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Installing ESXi (7.0)

This guide will cover how to install VMware ESXi 7.0.3. We'll start off by covering ways to get the installation media for ESXi, then we'll cover what the install screens look like, and we will end with how to set a static IP address on your new ESXi host.


  • A compatible computer/server
    • 4GB+ of RAM
    • 32GB of Storage for the ESXi OS
    • Two or More CPU Cores
    • 64 Bit Processor
  • A 1GB+ USB Drive for the Installation Media
  • ESXi Installation Media ISO

Older versions of ESXi like 6.7 have smaller storage requirements.

You can get the full list of requirements from VMware's website

How to Get ESXi Installation Media/Licensing

Getting Installation Media

Getting Licensing

By default, ESXi comes with a 60-day evaluation period. You could buy a license for VMware, but if you're just setting up a host for your lab it could be expensive. One way to get legit evaluation licensing is to sign up for a VMUG Advantage Membership.  The membership is currently $200/year and provides a ton of benefits and over licensing and installation media for over 15 VMware products.

*We're not sponsored by VMUG.

Getting Started

1. Create Bootable Flash Drive

If you need help creating a bootable flash drive, please refer to the page linked below, or watch the attached video.

2. Connect Devices

Plug in your bootable flash drive containing the ESXi install media. Also connect the storage that is going to contain the ESXi OS.

3. Boot to Installation Media

Make sure the computer/server you're installing ESXi onto is booting up using the USB drive with the ESXi installer on it.

ESXi Installer

  1. The first screen will be this boot screen, you can chose to hit Enter or wait.


  2. You'll then see this screen.


  3. And then this one (it's normal for it to seem frozen on certain steps, it can take a while to boot).


  4. Press Enter to continue.


  5. Press F11 to agree to the EULA and continue.


  6. You'll then see this screen for a few moments.


  7. You should now see all the connected disks, you'll want to pick the disk that you want to install ESXi onto.


  8. Select your keyboard layout.


  9. Create a root password, don't forget it!


  10. You may get this warning if you're using older hardware.  Press Enter to continue.


  11. Press F11 to confirm you want to install ESXi and that it will wipe the disk.


  12. You should then see the installation progress bar.


  13. Now you'll see the install success screen, please remove your install flash drive and reboot.


The look and feel of the boot sequence for the ESXi OS is almost identical to the ESXi installer.

Setting a Static IP Address

From Console

  1. Press F2 and enter your root password.


  2. Go to Configure Management Network and press Enter.


  3. Go to IPv4 Configuration and press Enter.


  4. Use the Spacebar to select the option for setting a Static IPv4 Address, set your IP address, gateway, and subnet mask.  Then press Enter.


  5. Using the same Spacebar and Enter button navigation options you can configure DNS using the DNS Configuation option and DNS Suffix by using the Custom DNS Suffixes option.


  6. When done, press the Escape key to go back to the main screen and prompt to apply changes. Press Y to apply changes.


  7. When you're brought back to this screen, the changes will have been made.


From vSphere Web UI

  1. Login to the Web UI using the current hosts IP address and your root account info.


  2. Go to NetworkingTCP/IP Stacks, select the Default TCP/IP Stack, then hit Edit Settings.


  3. From here you can set your DNS servers, Gateway, and Domains.  When done, hit save.


  4. Next, select the VMkernel NICs tab, select row for vmk0, then hit Edit Settings.


  5. From here you can set your IPv4 address to static.  Click Save when done and it should immediately take effect.