VMware ESX Server step-by-step installation

VMWare ESX Server Welcome screen

VMware ESX Server is mainframe-class virtual machine software that runs on a Linux kernel. It is a highly scalable platform that increases the efficiency of Intel-based hardware. In this screenshot gallery, Steven Warren shows you how to install ESX server.

VMware ESX Server has some hefty minimum hardware requirements:
  • Two CPUs (supports up to 16)
  • Processors must be at least 900 MHz Pentium III Xeon
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • At least one Ethernet card
  • SCSI, Fibre Channel, or RAID controller
These are minimums, so obviously you'll need to have more power than that. VMware recommends lots of RAM, multiple Ethernet cards (some virtual machines may run best with dedicated cards), and a separate disk controller that is dedicated to hosting the virtual machines. For more on the system requirements, see this page from the VMware Web site. VMware has also published information on supported hardware.

If you have installed a Linux distribution such as Red Hat Linux, then you'll notice that several parts of the ESX Server installation are very similar. That's because ESX Server is built on a Linux kernel, as mentioned above. You will install ESX Server just like you would an operating system because it is a stand-alone operating system. Unlike VMware Workstation and VMware GSX Server, ESX Server does not have to be installed on top of an OS.

Put the ESX Server installation CD into the server's tray and boot up the computer. You are presented with the ESX Server Welcome screen. Click Next and then keep the default installation option and choose Next again.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...