So why would you try and run a Vmware ESXi host inside a VM

By | 9 March, 2012

I love virtualisation. It means I can experiment to my hearts content with all sorts of OSes and not have to by lots of seperate kit.

My latest pet project is to try and control a Vmware host using some CSharp (or maybe powershell and PowerCLI) to enable cloning of guests without a human being having to interact (pet project at work).

So to setup my lab at home, I wanted and ESXi server….I knew you could run it under a Virtual Machine but wasn’t so sure about VMware’s old Server 2.0.2?

First thing I tried was the latest version of VirtualBox (4.1.8), unfortunately my Windows 7 host has only 3GB RAM, 2GB of which I would have to dedicate to ESXi. VirtualBox didn’t like that at all. Kept pausing my guest to protect the host box.

Next I used VMware Fusion 3 on my Mac (it has 4GB Physical RAM). ESXi installed properly no problems. I don’t generally like using the Mac for virtualisation, tends to eat up the battery and make the underside warm. So as an experiment, I transferred the created *.vmx and *.vmdk files over to the Windows 7 /Vmware Server 2.0.2 and tried to attach them.

It booted. Nice. No keyboard tho. Did a quick search on google to find this:

Followed the instructions and voila. ESXi 4.1.0 Update 1 running in a Windows 7, VMWare Server 2.0.2 host.

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