Install and Manage VMWare ESXi 5.0 – Free version

VMWare ESXi 5.0 (or VMWare Hypervisor) is free. That’s the coolest feature that anyone could download and install VMWare ESXi 5.0. Comparing with VMWare Server, VMWare ESXi 5.0 is the bare-metal virtualization that is installed directly on physical server hardware without the needs of support operating system, such as Windows or Linux.

The only limitation of VMWare ESXi is you could not manage it with vCenter, unless you have purchased special license for it. VMWare ESXi is a good choice if you want to try out virtualization before allocating budget for a bigger VMWare vSphere system.

Another usage scenario for VMWare ESXi is to install it on all of your physical servers. By this way, you could utilize the strength of the physical servers by running multiple instances of operating systems on a single physical hardware. A single software usually could not utilize all the power of a server hardware (I don’t mean big system such as MS Exchange or SQL Database server, etc). One more reason to virtualize your servers is to standardize all servers with a single virtual hardware platform of VMWare, and those servers could be moved to any new physical hardware platform without any big damages (to migrate or use live migration of virtual machines on VMWare ESXi, you must purchase separate licenses for it).

To install VMWare ESXi, you need a server with virtualization feature enabled in BIOS, then download VMWare ESXi from the manufacturer, install and use it. Pretty simple and straightforward.

Content at a glance

  • Download VMWare ESXi 5.0
  • Install VMWare ESXi 5.0
  • Manage VMWare ESXi 5.0

And here are the step-by-step guides of how to do it

Download VMWare ESXi 5.0

To download VMWare ESXi 5.0, you must register an account at, and follow this link to download a 293MB ISO file at this link

After you have the ISO file VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.0.0.update01-623860.x86_64.iso, use any ISO burner to burn it to a blank CD or DVD. My favorite tool is to use UltraISO.

Install VMWare ESXi 5.0

To support 64bit version of the virtual machines operating system, you must enable Virtualization Mode and 64bit Mode on the physical host where you install VMWare ESXi.

  • Boot up the server with VMWare ESXi 5.0 CD that you created at the above steps
  • VMWare ESXi 5.0 welcome screen comes up, it has pretty simple look.

VMWare ESXi installation

  • VMWare warmly welcome you to the installation wizard, press Enter to continue

VMWare ESXi installation

  • Make sure to read the End User License Agreement if you are planning to run VMWare ESXi for your production environment.
  • Press F11 to Accept and continue the installation progress

VMWare ESXi installation

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About The Author

Hao Nguyen

Hao Nguyen

Hello! I'm Hao Nguyen and I'm currently working as a Network Engineer for a small firm in Houston. I enjoy writing technical documents and blog, such as


  1. Tony says:

    You have a type-o in your about section that says It should say Plain obviously.

  2. Eric says:

    Hi Hao, this tutorial was an eye opener for me. I do not have any experience in virtualization but I am very much interested on implementing this on our company server. I think I still need to know more about hardware resource allocation and is it possible to put the AD, DHCP, DNS, gateway, firewall, etc. on 1 server machine and virtualized individually? or I am just hoping too much… Anyways thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Hao Nguyen says:

      Hi Eric,

      Actually, you could virtualize anything within a virtual machine from Windows Servers to a NAS box. Virtual machines are considered as a physical server that could run anything. But you should not make a virtual machine do some heavy-duty jobs such as firewall or database server. Theoretically, it’s OK to install a virtual machine as a firewall or database server, but it’s for testing purposes only.


  3. Lynn says:

    I booted the iso via cd and it goes into the installation but then stops with the following message: “No Network Adapters were detected. Either no network adapters are physically connected to the system, or a suitable driver could not be located. A third party driver may be required.

    There are two network adapters on this server.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

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