VMware ESXi 5.1.0 within VirtualBox 4.2.16 on Windows 8 x64

Some notes on getting VMware ESXi hypervisor up and running within VirtualBox, where it can then host various virtual machines and be managed using vSphere client.  All done on the cheap using an existing Windows desktop license and a free license for VirtualBox and an eval license for ESXi 5.1.  Useful approach to take for a home test lab.

1. Get a free (eval) license key for ESXi 5.1. https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi5&lp=default

2. Download the VMware components.

  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 Update 1 – Binaries
  • VMware Tools 5.1 Update 1 – CD image for Linux Guest OSes
  • VMware vSphere Client 5.1 Update 1

3. Download Oracle VirtualBox. https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

4. Should then have these files all downloaded.

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5. Install VirtualBox, just accepting the defaults.

6. Create a Virtual Box for ESX to run within.  Within “General” set type to Linux, version to Linux 2.6 (64 bit).

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7. Within System->Motherboard, set memory to 2048MB.

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8. Within System->Processor, set memory to 2GB.

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9. Within Network, set “Attached to:” to “Bridged Adapter” and set “Adapter Type” to Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM)”.

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10. Within Storage, set IDE Secondary Master to point at the ESX .iso file.

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11. This then gives a summary looking like this.

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12. Start the virtual machine.

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13. Select the one 6GB disk by pressing enter.

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14. Select language.

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15. Enter a root password, at least 7 characters long.

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16. Accept warning that hardware virtualization not available by pressing enter.

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17. Confirm install to the virtual 6GB disk we presented to ESX by pressing F11.

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18. Wait for ESX to install.

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19. Installed, 60 day eval.

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20. Power off the ESX VM.

21. Within Storage setting for this ESX VM, remove the virtual disk used for the boot/install .iso.

22. Add 3 * 5GB SATA disks to the ESX VM, to be used as ESX datastores later.

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23. Boot the ESX VM.  Takes around 100 seconds on my system.

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24. Log on, using username root and the password given earlier.

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25. Install some software to manage this ESX server.  See http://wp.me/p1EVa3-2Q

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