Last modified at 11/2/2013 9:26 PM by Koen Zomers

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VMware comes in may different flavors and kinds. I chose to go with the free edition of the VMware ESXi server also known as the VMware vSphere Hypervisor. You can download it after registering for free through this website.

Once you've gone through the registration process and verified the e-mail you received, you will be presented the download page where two options are shown: VMware Go and Download ESXi. The first is supposed to provide more assistance for people new to VMware technology. I went with option 2 and since I'm going to install the product on a server that is going to be a dedicated VMware server (as it will be most of the time) I picked the binary download called ESXi 4.1 Installable Update 1 (CD ISO) which had the description to boot your server with the CD. Exactly what I need.

VMwareInstallationDownloadISO.png
After downloading the ISO and burning it to a CD using ImgBurn I put it in the CD drive of my server and booted up the system from the CD.

The VMware VMvisor Boot Menu popped up and allowed me to start the ESXi Installer.

VMwareInstallerBootScreen.JPG

After looking at a lot of dots while it was loading stuff, I was presented the VMware ESXi 4.1.0 boot screen where it would load even more stuff.

VMwareInstallerStarting.JPG

After that being done, I was presented the VMware ESXI 4.1.0 Installer screen. I pressed Enter to start the installation.

VMwareInstallerStart.JPG

Next was a long end user license agreement which I completely read and pressed F11 to confirm it and continue.

VMwareInstallerUELA.JPG

Now I was shown a screen where I could configure my harddrives. Since I only have one harddrive in the system which may be wiped clean and I have no special desires, I accepted the defaults and pressed Enter once again to continue.

VMwareInstallerHDconfig.JPG

A box popped up asking me if I was aware that the disk still contained data and that I absolutely positively wanted to erare it. I pressed Enter to confirm.

VMwareInstallerConfirmHDErase.JPG
The next screen was the final step before proceeding with the actual installation. I was asked to press F11 to continue and install, which I did.

VMwareInstallerStartInstall.JPG

The installation starts and took here approximately 2 minutes to complete.

VMwareInstallerInstalling.JPG

The Installation Complete screen was shown and after pressing Enter to confirm the reboot the CD drive automatically opened so I could remove the installation disk and let it reboot.

VMwareInstallerReboot.JPG

After the reboot I was shown the loader screen again.

VMwareInstallerStarting.JPG

Once done loading, I was presented the following screen which says as much as that it retrieved an IP address successfully from the DHCP server from my network and is ready to rock and roll.

VMwareInstallerDone.JPG
I opened up my FireFox internet browser and browsed to the IP address shown at the screen. My browser instantaneously panicked and showed a warning that the connection could possibly not be secure. This is caused by the website to be presented over HTTPS/SSL and the server creating a self signed certificate. Nothing to worry about.

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After going through the I understand the Risks -> Add Exception-> Confirm Secutiry Exception process I was shown the VMware ESXi 4.1 welcome screen.

VMwareInstallationWebsite.png
Looks promising, but isn't very promising. You can't do nothing through this website. It does confirm your installation has succeeded and that your server is accessible though. By clicking on the link on the page stating Download vSphere Client you will start a 243 MB download containing a client through which you can control the VMware server. Download it and install it on the machine you're going to perform the administration of the VMware server from (not on the VMware server itself).

Start the VMware vSphere client once the installation is done. You will be presented the connect screen. Enter the IP address of your VMware server as shown on the server itself and use the default username root with a blank password to connect.

VMwareClientConnectBox.png
Again you will see a warning regarding the not trusted SSL certificate like you saw when accessing the server with an internet browser. Click Ignore to proceed.

VMwareClientSSLWarning.png
After connecting to your server, a warning dialog will be shown stating that your license will expire after 60 days. As we still have to enter our free license, click OK to continue.

VMwareClientLicenseWarning.png
The vSphere client is now up and running. To add the free license we achieved through registering, go to the configuration tab at the right.

VMwareClientLicenseConfigTab.png
At the left under the Software section you will find a link Licensed Features, click on it.

VMwareClientLicenseLicensedFeaturesLink.png
At the right you will find a link stating Edit. Click on it.

VMwareClientLicenseLicensedFeaturesEdit.png
Select the radio button in front of Assign a new license key to this host and click on the Enter Key button.

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Enter your free license key and click OK. You should now see the product as being licensed.

VMwareClientLicenseLicensedFeaturesLicensed.png