VMware ESXi 3.5 - 6.5 Hypervisor Size Comparison

VMwares bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for almost 9 years now. During that time it has been continuously refined and added with new features. Since vSphere 5.0, the hypervisor size is very constant and has not increased severely. In this post I am going to have a look at how much the hypervisor footprint has been changed from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 6.5.

  • ESXi 3.5 - 46,01 MB
  • ESXi 4.0 - 59,99 MB
  • ESXi 4.1 - 85,19 MB
  • ESXi 5.0 - 132,75 MB
  • ESXi 5.1 - 125,85 MB
  • ESXi 5.5 - 151,98 MB
  • ESXi 6.0 - 154,90 MB
  • ESXi 6.5 - 135,39 MB

esxi-hypervisor-size-3-5-6-5

How did I determine the Hypervisor Size?
According to VMware documentation the footprint of ESXi 5 was 144MB and 150MB in ESXi 6. I could not reconstruct that completely so I compared the following packages:

  • The "image" package in ESXi 3.5
  • The "firmware" package in ESXi 4.x
  • The "esx-base" vib package in ESXi 5.x and 6.x
  • All "esx-" and "vsan-" packages since 6.0u2 including 6.5

Within a major release, the size does not change much. This is a full table since vSphere 4.0:

ESXi Size
4.0 57,80 MB
4.0 U1 58,82 MB
4.0 U2 59,11 MB
4.0 U3 59,72 MB
4.0 U4 59,97 MB
4.1 85,45 MB
4.1 U1 85,89 MB
4.1 U2 85,25 MB
4.1 U3 85,27 MB
5.0 133,64 MB
5.0 U1 132,32 MB
5.0 U2 132,27 MB
5.0 U3 132,56 MB
5.1 124,60 MB
5.1 U1 124,88 MB
5.1 U2 125,67 MB
5.1 U3 125,85 MB
5.5 151,52 MB
5.5 U1 152,24 MB
5.5 U2 151,71 MB
5.5 U3 153,76 MB
6.0 154,96 MB
6.0 U1 156,07 MB
6.0 U2 158,27 MB
6.5 135,39 MB

The size of an ESXi 6.5 ISO Image is 324 MB. What are the other components on that image?

Package Size
Hypervisor 135 MB (42%)
Drivers 13 MB (4%)
VMware Tools Images 175 MB (54%)

esxi-65-image-components

  1. Excellent! You know what would also be a great comparison is the RAM footprint of the kernel.

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