30 March 2010

How to Install ESX 4.0 on Workstation 6.5.2 as a VM Title
1.0 Introduction
Being able to run VMware ESX 4.0 under VMware
Workstation as a VM gives users and professionals
in the IT community great flexibility when it comes
to learning, experimenting or even demonstrating
the product. Needless to say, this is not an officially
supported deployment.
The approach is fundamentally no different to that
previously devised for VMware ESX 3.5, the main
difference simply being the change in minimum
hardware requirements.
2.0 Pre-Requisites
The minimum hardware requirements for the machine
running VMware Workstation are:
• A 64-bit x86 Intel VT-x or AMD-V capable processor
(with the feature enabled in the BIOS)
• 1 Ethernet NIC
• 16GB disk space
The following software is required:
• VMware Workstation 6.5.2 (Build 156735) –
presumed to already be installed
• VMware ESX Server 4.0 (Build 164009) ISO image
This installation was tested on a Lenovo T60 laptop
computer with the following specification:
• Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83GHz CPU
• Intel PRO/1000PL Ethernet NIC
• Windows XP Professional with SP3
• VMware Workstation 6.5.2 (Build 156735)
Note: The VMware ESX 4.0 installer will abort if it detects less than
2GB RAM, so the machine running VMware Workstation must
have a minimum of this amount of RAM installed. If, as in this
example, 2GB RAM is all that is installed, it will also be necessary
to configure VMware Workstation to allow most of the VM’s RAM
requirements to be swapped out to disk. See section 2.1 below. © 2009 | 1
Illustration 1-1: Solution Overview
white paper
How to Install ESX 4.0 on Workstation 6.5.2
as a VM
Title: How to Install ESX 4.0 on Workstation 6.5.2 as a VM
Author(s): Xtravirt (Paul Buckle)
Target Audience: Technical - Novice
Current Revision: 1.2 (December 2009)
First Published: June 2009
Product(s): VMware ESX 4.0, Workstation 6.5.2
UID: XD10089
Content Overview:
• Step by step install guide for VMware ESX 4.0 as a virtual machine within
VMware Workstation 6.5.2
• Why this is useful as a portable demo or training environment
PC or Laptop
·········· ··········
[ / ] #
ESX Server 4.x Nested VM’s
1. Physical PC
Check and download
2. Install VMware
Workstation 6.5.2
Install and launch
3. Install VMware
ESX 4.0
Create a VM then
install ESX 4
4. Completion
ESX Server running as
a VM. Create new
VM’s within the ESX
VM as required
Workstation © 2009 | 2
2.1 VMware Workstation Configuration
1. Start VMware Workstation and go to Edit ->
Preferences. Select to the Memory tab, select
the Allow most virtual machine memory to be
swapped radio button. Click OK.
Figure 2-1: Allow most VM memory to be swapped
3.0 Define the VMware ESX 4.0
Virtual Machine
1. Start VMware Workstation and go File -> New ->
Virtual Machine. Select the Custom radio button
and click Next.
2. Choose the Virtual Machine Hardware
Compatibility. Ensure that VMware Workstation
6.5 is selected in the Hardware Compatibility field.
Click Next.
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3. Guest Operating System Installation. Select I will
install the operating system later option. Click
4. Select a Guest Operating System. Select Linux,
then in the Version field select Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 5 64-bit. Click Next.
5. Name the Virtual Machine. Enter a VM name and
specify a location to store VM files. Click Next.
6. Processor Configuration. Select One. Click Next.
7. Memory for the Virtual Machine. Select a minimum
of 2048MB. Click Next.
8. Network Type. For this example the Use bridged
networking option was selected. Click Next.
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9. Select I/O Adapter Types. Select LSI Logic. Click
10. Select a Disk. Select Create a new virtual disk.
Click Next.
11. Select a Disk Type. Select SCSI. Click Next.
12. Specify Disk Capacity. 16GB was used in this
example. Select the Allocate all disk space now
checkbox and also select Store virtual disk as a
single file. Click Next.
13. Specify Disk File. Rename the disk file if required.
Click Next.
14. Ready to Create Virtual Machine. Deselect the
Power on this virtual machine after creation
checkbox. Click Customize Hardware.
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15. Hardware. Remove the following hardware:
Floppy, USB Controller, Sound Card.
16. Hardware. Select CD/DVD (IDE). Select Connect
at power on and in the Use ISO image file field,
browse to the location of the VMware ESX 4.0 ISO
previously downloaded. Click OK.
17. Hardware. Select Network Adapter. Tick
Replicate physical network connection state.
18. Hardware. Select Display. Deselect the Accelerate
3D graphics checkbox.
19. Hardware. Select Processors. In the Preferred
Mode field select the Intel-VTx or AMD-V option.
Click OK.
20. Click Finish. The virtual disk will be allocated. This
step may take some time.
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21. To enable nested VMs, a line needs to be added
to the .vmx file for this virtual machine. Without
it, you won’t be able to power on a VM under
VMware ESX4 and will see the following message:
22. The name and location of the .vmx file is show in
the VMware Workstation GUI. Edit the .vmx file
using Notepad. Add the following line, monitor_
control.restrict_backdoor = TRUE
Save the file and close.
4.0 Install VMware ESX 4.0
1. Initial ESX Installer screen. Select Install ESX in
graphical mode and press Enter.
2. Welcome to the ESX Installer. Click Next.
3. End User License Agreement. Review the license
agreement and select the I accept the terms of
the license agreement checkbox. Click Next.
4. Select Keyboard. Select the appropriate keyboard
for your system type. Click Next.
5. Custom Drivers. Select No. Click Next.
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6. Load Drivers. Click Yes.
7. Loading Drivers. Once completed, Click Next.
8. License. If you have one, enter a serial number,
otherwise select the Enter a serial number later
radio button to evaluate the product. Click Next.
9. Network Configuration. Select the required network
adapter for ESX system tasks. Click Next.
10. Network Configuration. Enter the required
network configuration information. Click Next.
11. Setup Type. Select the Standard setup radio
button. Click Next.
12. ESX Storage Device. Select the required storage
device. Click Next.
13. Data Loss Warning. Click OK.
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14. Time Zone Settings. Select the required Time
zone. Click Next.
15. Date and Time. Configure the current date and
time. Click Next.
16. Set Administrator Password. Enter and confirm the
required root password. Click Next.
17. Summary of installation settings. Click Next.
18. Installing ESX 4.0. The installation will proceed and
may take a few minutes to complete.
19. Installing ESX 4.0 Click Next.
20. ESX 4.0 Installation Complete. Click Finish.
21. The ESX server will now reboot and the ISO image
can be unmounted from the VM. After the splash
screen appears it may take a few minutes for ESX
to complete loading. Check by pressing ALT-F1 in
the ESX VM console – if you see a login prompt
then ESX has completed booting.
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22. Using your Internet browser (IE8 in this case),
navigate to the IP address of your ESX VM, eg: If using DHCP, press ALT-F11
in the ESX VM console to show the assigned IP
address. Elect to ignore any website certificate
warnings, eg: Continue to this website.
23. Click Download vSphere Client. Follow the
installation prompts to install the vSphere Client.
24. Once complete, launch the vSphere Client,
enter the ESX IP address, root username and its
password. Click Login.
25. If using ESX in evaluation mode, click OK to
acknowledge the number of days remaining.
5.0 Define a Nested Virtual Machine
1. From the vSphere Client Home page, select Hosts
and Clusters.
2. Go File -> Browse VA Marketplace and select
a VM. Nostalgia was selected as it is only a 6MB
download. Follow the import wizard and the
VM will download and register with the VMware
ESX VM. Power on the VM. The screenshot below
shows the VM having started up.
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About Xtravirt
Xtravirt is a knowledge-based company that delivers its expertise in virtualization online and in person. We have developed a reputation for astute
leadership and expertise through our work with an impressive array of organisations. It is this real-world experience that drives our ability to provide
independent, current and free advice online.
We work with organisations whose IT staff are frustrated with how hard it is to find detailed information and skills around virtualisation. We help our clients
deliver the true benefits of virtualization, resulting in cost and time savings.
For more information contact:
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Surrey KT22 7PL
t +44 (0) 1372 824 296
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© Copyright 2009 Xtravirt Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Xtravirt Ltd shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors
or omissions contained herein. Xtravirt and the Xtravirt logo are registered trademarks of Xtravirt Ltd. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
This document remains the property of Xtravirt Ltd. Contents may not be copied, reproduced or modified without written consent from Xtravirt Ltd. © 2009 | 10
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1. Nil.
Useful Links
1. VMware vSphere Downloads,

3. And lastly, a game in progress.
This concludes the white paper on how to install
VMware ESX 4.0 on VMware Workstation 6.5.2 as a VM.
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