In this article, I will show you how to create a Linux virtual machine on the virtualization platform VMWare ESXi 7.0u3. The procedure is the same if you are using ESXi 6.7 or 6.5.
If you are familiar with other virtualization platforms such as XCP-ng, Hyper-V or Proxmox, you will find creating virtual machines on ESXi will be very familiar. According to personal assessment, I find creating virtual machines on ESXi is the most intuitive and easy to understand compared to other platforms.
I. Upload ISO to Datastore
To be able to install a virtual machine on ESXi, I first need to upload the ISO file of the operating system (Linux / Windows) to the partition containing the data of ESXi – called the datastore.
- Click to select datastore1
- Select Datastore browser
- Click the Upload button to upload the ISO file from your computer to ESXi.
Or you can also download directly from the Internet to the ESXi server through the CLI command line interface.
I will choose to install Ubuntu Server 20.04 to illustrate this article. SSH into ESXi, then download the Ubuntu ISO to your computer
cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1 mkdir ISO wget http://mirror.bizflycloud.vn/ubuntu-releases/20.04.4/ubuntu-20.04.4-live-server-amd64.iso
II. Create a Linux virtual machine
Access the ESXi Web UI, click Virtual Machines, and then click Create / Register VM
1. Create a new Linux virtual machine
Select Create a new virtual machine, click Next
2. Select the name and type of the virtual machine
Name the virtual machine: Ubuntu and select the appropriate parameters. Click Next
3. Choose where to store
Choose where to save the virtual machine: because the server has only 1 hard drive, by default, datastore1 is selected. Click Next
4. Hardware Configuration
Hardware settings: CPU, Memory, Hard disk, … for virtual machines. Part CD/DVD Drive 1, select Datastore ISO file and select the ISO file downloaded in the previous step. Click Next to continue.
Check all the information and click Finish to confirm the creation of a new virtual machine.
6. Virtual Machine Ready
It only takes a few seconds for ESXi to create a new virtual machine. You can click on the virtual machine name in the left column to view detailed information about the newly created virtual machine.
III. Install Linux on a virtual machine
Click the Power on button to start the virtual machine. Then click Console to open the display of the virtual machine.
The virtual machine will automatically boot from the virtual CD drive with the Ubuntu Server ISO file mounted. Next, you install Linux according to the instructions that appear on the picture.
Depending on each Linux distribution, the installation process will be different, so I will not go into detail in this section.
IV. Install VMWare Tools
After installing Ubuntu Server on the virtual machine, I will install more VMWare Tools so that the virtual machine can communicate with the ESXi server.
When you click to view virtual machine information, you will see a message that VMWare Tools is not installed on the virtual machine and requires the installation of VMWare Tools.
Instead of installing VMWare Tools by VMWare owner, I will install OpenVM Tools, an open source toolkit specifically for Linux-based virtual machines. OpenVM Tool supports almost all Linux distributions.
Install on Ubuntu/Debian
sudo apt install open-vm-tools
Install on CentOS / Fedora
sudo yum install open-vm-tools
Install on Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S open-vm-tools
After the installation is complete, restart the virtual machine, you will see in the General Information panel that VMWare Tools has been installed. At the same time, the IP of the virtual machine is also displayed on the ESXi.
The Linux virtual machine is ready to serve your learning and research needs.
Hope you are succesful.
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