VMware ESXi 5.1.0 within VMware Player 5.0.2 on Windows 8 x64

Having done it on Oracle’s VirtualBox (which is open source and free), here’s it done using VMware Player (which is closed source, but still free for non-commercial use).  This is a useful way to create a lab environment on the cheap.

1. Download and install VMware Player, taking all the defaults. https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_player/5_0

2. Download ESXi 5.1.0 (with 60 day eval license). https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi5&lp=default

3. Create VMware Player VM, pointing at the ESXi 5.1.0 .iso file.  2GB memory, 2 CPUs, 6GB disk.
esxinstall10

4. Once booted, ESXi installs.  Note that it does not generate the warning “Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU” which you would get if installing within VirtualBox (see pic). After install, disconnect the CD drive.
esxinstall4

5. Reboot.

6. ESXi then boots up (takes about 70 seconds on my system), looks as below.
esxinstall6

esxinstall8

7. Install vSphere client (more info at http://wp.me/p1EVa3-2Q), point it at the ESXi IP address.  Ignore security warnings.
esxinstall7

8. vSphere gives Summary view below.
esxinstall9

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