Install ESXi 5.1 on MacPro3,1

Post and logs are rising on cool new stuff like using baremetal 2012 Minis to run ESXi, virtualise OsX and most of all be able to Netboot the VMs !
here, here for instance. Damned this is cool. I may then Virtualise my actual dev Server, and then add VM to test deployment configs. this would be some work for sure but :

What I have :

  • - a Macpro
  • - a Netboot Server
  • - a windows System (either a real PC or a VM at hand – I have a Parallels W7 VM on my MacBook Pro)

I want to test deployment stuff so that the netboot capabilities of ESXi is what I’m interested in !
I’ll of course also play with VM creations without netboot later.

I choose to use a USB key, but you could simply burn the ISO to a CD, and go to step 2 directly

1st Attempt : ESXi 5.1

A) Prepare the key.

I did follow steps from here :

1) Get the ISO and the exe from VMware. (create an account)

note : you’ll have a licence showing up there, note it for later !

2) Insert your USB stick and Launch Disk Utility to reformat the USB Stick.
Choose MBR (Master Boot Record) as option in the partition pane.

3) Use UNETBOOTIN to copy the content from the ISO to the USB Stick.

you have to unmount the key before, so run in Terminal :

diskutil list

to get the ID of your USB Stick like disk3s1 for example, and then to unmount the partition run :

diskutil unmount disk3s1

Now you can choose the ESXi iso and create your key.

Note : it sometimes (quite all the time) ask if you want to replace existing files ???
Finally answering NO works best for me – unless I want to create a New key, but then I’d rather reformat it.

4) You’re now ready to go.

Note :
to avoid any disaster during tests I’ve removed all my drives from the MacPro except the One I use for the test – a 1 To SATA drive.

B) Install ESXi5.1 on the MacPro

1) Boot the MacPro

holding the alt-option key and choose the EFI USB showing up.

2) here I’ve got an error,

stating that I had not enough resources ? (14 Gig RAM – 1To blank disc… WTF )
– Some search and the media (USB stick) may have been corrupted or the ISO altered during download.
OK let’s change the USB Stick and test again. Now it boots with no error. Great !

3) Follow instructions
(which are just straight forward and “obvious”)
I won’t focus much here as there is not much to say but don’t forgte the root password you’ll have to set during the process.
Once done, hit F12 , enter the password, go to troubleshooting and enable SSH and PowerCLI.

4) Well done, you have a VSphere on your MacPro3,1.

C) Manage ESXi – install the .exe

There you’ll need the windows box.

1) Install the VMWare xxxxxx.exe

2) launch it and connect to your MacPro.

3) Enter your Licence

now follow instruction from here, and enter your licence – you know the one I told you to note at the beginning.
go to the tab XXXXXX, enter licence BLABLA and paste it.

D) now create your 1st (Mac) Os X VM with Netboot

1) Choose the Macpro and create your VM,
choose other and choose OsX (it will say 10.7 but it is OK for 10.8 and maybe 10.9)

2) Once done, go to console and launch the VM.

3) And enjoy the Failure.
Yep total failure :

- Netboot is not available in the ESXi5.1 bummer ! RTFM ! I’m just stupid.

OK so I’m going to download ESXi5.5 from VMware, wipe my Key and create a new one. Simple.

This will be a second post. and yes Netboot does work with ESXi5.5 and that’s really nice.
What isn’t nice is that My thunderstruck NIC card replaced by a PCI Marvell will make things not as simple as expected….

Next : Install ESXi5.5 on MacPro3,1 with dead onboard Ethernet and a Marvel 88E8053 PCI card. ESXI5.5


Product and graphic designer turned to be a Mac SysAdmin.

Posted in Admin, Mac, tips tricks scripts, Windows Tagged with: , , ,
0 comments on “Install ESXi 5.1 on MacPro3,1
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  1. […] maybe that was the culprit I don’t know. It did work like a charm when I installed ESXi see here and here on my […]

  2. […] first downloaded the 5.5 .iso from VMWare and followed the same steps as for the 5.1 using unetbootin to Prepare the key, and then Boot the MacPro holding the alt-option key and […]

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