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How to install VMware EsXi 7.0.3 on Vultr Bare Metal

Introduction

Bare Metal servers provide full control of the hardware, allowing many unique configurations. Vultr provides several standard OS images and One-Click applications to deploy your Bare Metal server. If you prefer a custom Bare Metal OS, use this guide to install from a custom ISO. Please read and understand all steps before proceeding to deploy your Bare Metal cloud, including the troubleshooting guide.

Overview

Bare Metal servers have dual SSDs and dual NVME. This guide temporarily uses the first NVME to boot an ISO image. The primary steps are:

  1. Install a temporary OS to the first SSD.

  2. Copy a custom ISO to the first NVME.

  3. Boot from the first NVME .

  4. Install the custom OS on the first SSD, overwriting the temporary OS from step 1.

  5. Format and reclaim the first NVME.

Due to licensing requirements, we cannot provide support for custom VMware installations. If you intend to attempt a Windows installation on a Bare Metal instance, make sure you have a valid VMware license before proceeding. Go to VMware sites, create an account for purchase o trial mode.

For this installation, the custom VMware ISO (remember to have your account created a log in on VMware site to access this download) for DELL EMC servers will be needed, which is the server that we are going to use to be able to create several virtualizations.






1. Install Linux

Visit the customer portal and deploy a bare metal instance, we recommend this bare metal instance:



· Choose a temporary OS. This guide is tested with Debian 11 (Bulls Eye).

· Choose No RAID - Extra disks unformatted. The "extra disk" is used for the ISO image.


2. Upload the Custom ISO

Upload your VMware ISO with the desire SFTP software. For this example we are going to use: Cyberduck. is a libre server and cloud storage browser for Mac and Windows with support for SFTP.


Login with the root account and password from the server information page.



Upload the ISO image to /opt




SSH to the new instance with the root account and password from the server information page.

Write the ISO image to the first NVME with dd. The first NVME is /dev/nvme0n1. For example:


# dd if=/opt/VMware-VMvisor-Installer-7.0.0.update03-19898904.x86_64-DellEMC_Customized-A05.iso of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=4096 status=progress

When dd completes, the first NVME is bootable with the ISO image.


3. Boot From the first NVME.

  1. Open the Web Console on the instance's control panel.

  2. Click the Send CtrlAltDel button at the top right of the Web Console window.

  3. While the instance starts up, tap F2 repeatedly until you see the BIOS screen.

  4. Go to System Bios --> Boot Settings --> Boot Settings --> Boot Mode --> UEFI




5. Then press Back --> Finish --> Yes


6. After the instance reboots, it will detect the ISO on the NVME drive and start the process of installation of VMware. Don’t be alarm, it will take a while.




4. Install VMware.

After the installation ISO load all the modules you need to start the installation process.

  1. Press ENTER to continue.

  2. Press F11 to accept EULA.

  3. Install on a SSD drive and press ENTER. Example:




4. Enter a root password easy to remember, after the installation we are going to change it.

5. Press F11 to start installation.

6. When the installation is complete press ENTER to reboot the system.

7. Open the Web Console and the VMware is going to start the boot loading. Example:



8. Go to the IP address that Vultr give to your Bare Metal to open the VMware portal on your preferred web browser an enter your root user and password created during the installation. Example:



Troubleshooting

Remember to use VMware DELL EMC 7.0.3 for this installation and have your VMware License at any moment to start working. You can always create support tickets and ask for execute this installation under the BYOL mode (Bring your own license).

· Test your ISO for possible corruption.

· Use the Web Console to reboot the server.

o Use F2 to load BIOS setup.

· Verify the BIOS settings for Boot Mode.

· Review the BIOS settings regarding Boot Order.




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