Step-by-step: Installing ESXi as a virtual machine

Register for a free download of ESXi

The first step is to register for a free download of ESXi if you don't already have access to the installation files. If you are going to use the free version of ESXi, now dubbed "VMware vSphere Hypervisor," it is a free download from the VMware website.

ESXi 4.1 is a 300 MB CD-ROM to install and can be installed on servers that meet the installation requirements outlined in the ESXi Getting Started Guide. Basic requirements include:
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • One Gigabit network interface
  • 4 GB of hard drive space
  • 2 processors

These are very lightweight specifications for ESXi, and any production installation would certainly need more in each category. This, however, is sufficient for a basic "virtual" ESXi host for test and development purposes.

By Selena Frye

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...