Intel NUC As A ESXi Host (part 6)


We are almost done, and now ready to finally install ESXi on our NUCs


Table Of Contents

This will be a multi-part post, as it covers a lot of topics…

  1. NUC Specs, and build information,
  2. Building a custom ESX image that includes drivers for the NUC’s network card and SSD,
  3. DHCP, PXE booting and automatic installation scripts,
  4. Synology configuration for VMware datastores,
  5. Networking, VLANs and getting it to work,
  6. Installing ESXi,
  7. Any other configuration,
  8. Final (random) thoughts.


ESXi Installation

Now that you have everything setup:

  • NUCs built,
  • DHCP ready,
  • TFTP and web server configured,
  • iSCSI targets provisioned,
  • Automatic installation script tweaked,

…you are ready to turn on your NUCs

This should be the easy bit, just power on your NUCs, and let the technology do the hard work.  It should boot up and immediately look for a DHCP address and server to boot from.


 After a quick menu option, the installer will take over.  Don’t press anything – it’s all automatic remember  🙂


 The installer will take about 10-20 minutes, depending on the model of NUC, network speeds, angle of the sun…


 The installer will then change screens and start processing it’s various modules.  Below it’s loading the e1000 network driver.


After loading all it’s modules, it will then run though part of the automatic script we created.

Various text messages will appear, including…

  • Preliminary checks,
  • Partitioning disk for ESXi,
  • Writing syslinux bootloader,
  • Writing binary to boot partition,
  • Writing GUIDs to the bootbanks,
  • Caching the required files for ESXi,
  • Configuring network settings,
  • Writing the first-boot scripts.

Once complete, the following reboot message will appear.  It will automatically reboot in about 10 seconds or so…


ESXi will then load up and run the rest of the configuration script, rebooting again at the end…


After the reboot, it will load all its modules.  Mine pauses for a while when loading the software iSCSI adapter.  This is because it will scan the adapter bus looking for available storage.  Once done though, you will be presented with a screen similar to below.  ESXi is now ready to be used…



vSphere Client

Now that ESXi has been successfully installed, we can finish any other configuration that needs to be done.  If you don’t have the vSphere client installed, you can get it from your newly installed ESXi host.

Open your favourite web browser and go to the IP address (or host name) you gave your host.


Click the link middle-left to Download vSphere Client, and install it.  Once installed, open it and connect to your new host.  When the certificate warning appears, tick the checkbox, and click Ignore.

Congratulations, you have your first (or another) ESXi host.!

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