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Free ESXi 6.5 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 6.5 has been released and as known from previous versions, VMware provides a free version of their Hypervisor ESXi for everyone again. The license key can be created for free at VMwares website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version.


  • No support
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • 2 physical CPUs
  • Unlimited cores per CPU
  • Unlimited physical Memory
  • max. 8 vCPU per VM

  1. Go to VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.5 Download Page
  2. Login or create an account
  3. Register for ESXi (Enter some personal information)
    After registration, you will receive a unique license key and access to the binaries. If you already have an ESXi 6.0 license key, you don't need to sign up for a new key.
  4. Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 - Binaries
  5. Install ESXi to your Hardware (Create a Bootable ESXi Installer USB Flash Drive)
  6. Login as root with the Embedded Host Client (https://<ESX>/ui/)
  7. Navigate to Manage -> Licensing
  8. Click Assign license and enter your license key

29 thoughts on “Free ESXi 6.5 - How to Download and get License Keys”

  1. Are you able to send the link on VMwares website confirming this?


    No support
    Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
    2 physical CPUs <- really need to see this documented : )
    Unlimited cores per CPU
    Unlimited physical Memory
    max. 8 vCPU per VM

    1. What happens when the sixty day trial is over. Everything becomes disabled and is no longer usable? Or it is still usable and just displays a message or something?

  2. The solution that I found is to

    1. register for an evaluation of the non free version - get free trail -

    2. download the evaluation and install

    3. activate with your free esxi license key from -

    I beleive this should be an alirght approach, as otherwise the license key i m using should not be activeable in trail version I downloaded.

    KR, Chris

    1. +1
      Nearly 12 months later - was evaluating 6.7 on the 60 day trial when I clicked free ESXi link in Cberg's step 3. Worked a treat. Now says - Expiration date: Never

  3. Hi,
    I had purcahsed VMware vSphere 6 Essentials Kit for 3 hosts (Max 2 processors per host).

    Am I able to use same key to ugrade 6.5 or I need to buy seperate license?

    thanks in advance.

  4. Can somebody give a valid answer to my thread here

    My 60 day trial expired for esxi 6.0 but I have a unlimited license key. Vsphere says its unlimited license but vcenter still gives me error license expired. Worst part m not able to add any host.

    Is there separate license for host or vsphere or vcenter?

    Also most importantly, does the vmware provided free 60 days license includes host license?

    M confused on the license part.

    1. You can use the free standalone ESXi license with vCenter Server.

      vCenter and Host licenses are required. Both have a 60-day evaluation.

  5. Earlier my home exsi used to get expired in every two months. It did again today morning . Then I wandered a little bit to see if any free Lic . Then I got here . Worked like a charm !

  6. Great ! Many thanks !

    Basically, the process was clearely present on the VMWare webpage but I missed it and your post just Highlighted it.

    Again thx, Ive jut got my unlimited license ;)

  7. Not able to get free license registration page for VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.5

    The URL redirecting to 6.7 version

  8. Hello, the link doesn't work for me, I can't reach esxi 6 page, only 7. is there a way to get a free licence for esxi 6 ?

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