After about a month of on and off development I am proud to say that
ESX 4 (vSphere) can be installed into a VM without any tweaks to the machine or hacks. It will actually just boot up and run. If you want to run a VM in it you will have to edit the VMX config file and add a line to get it to work.
Here is a quick and dirty How To Install ESXi 4 in a VMware Workstation VM:
Buy VMware Workstation, or pass your VCP and install it on your machine. [Workstation Download]
(Or you could do this in VMware Fusion)
Register for an ESXi license and Download the ISO to your desktop. [ESXi Download]
- Create a new Custom VM with the following specs:
- Memory: 2GB
- CPUs: 2
- vHDD: 8-16GB (FYI – Big enough for ESX and a test VM)
- CDROM: Pointing to your ESXi ISO
- Network: Bridged
- Once the VM is created edit the following:
- Remove anything not supported by ESX like the USB controller and unneeded items like the floppy.
- You will need to set “Replicate physical network connection state” on the network card.
- Select the Intel-VTx or AMD-V option for the CPU. Make sure VT is enabled in the BIOS of the machine.
- Add the following to enable VM’s to run in your ESXi VM (VM inside a VM hotness):
monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = “TRUE"
- Power the ESXi VM on and install it.
You should be able to take it from there.
Have fun Geekin’
Thanks to Xtravirt’s white paper on this. [Download]
FYI – My work laptop [A Dell D630 with 2GB of RAM] does not do this well!!! POS!