VMware ESXi is free. However, the software comes with a 60 days evaluation mode. You should register on VMware website to get your free license key to come out of the evaluation mode. Once the ESXi is installed, you can either user vSphere Client on the Direct Console User Interface to administer the host.
VMware ESXi is based on bare-metal hypervisor architecture that runs directly on top of a hardware as shown below.
Download ESXi serverGet the software from the VMware ESXi download page.
VMware VMvisor Boot MenuOnce you insert the ESXi CD and reboot the server, it will display a boot menu with an option to launch “ESXi Installer” as shown below.
VMware ESXi Installer LoadingWhile the installer is loading all the necessary modules, it will display the server configuration information at the top as shown below.
New ESXi InstallSince this is a new installation of ESXi, select “Install” in the following screen.
Accept VMware EULARead and accept the EULA by pressing F11.
Select a Disk to Install VMware ESXiVMware ESXi Installer will display all available disk groups. Choose the Disk where you would like to install the ESXi. It is recommended to choose the Disk0.
Confirm ESXi InstallationConfirm that you are ready to start the install process.
Installation in ProgressThe installation process takes few minutes. While the ESXi is getting installed, it will display a progress bar as shown below.
ESXi Installation CompleteYou will get the following installation completed message that will prompt you to reboot the server.
ESXi Initial ScreenAfter the ESXi is installed, you’ll get the following screen where you can configure the system by pressing F2.
VMware ESXi installation completed.