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Automated ESXi Installation - Inject Kickstart File to ESXi ISO

VMware ESXi Installation can be automated by leveraging kickstart configurations. The kickstart configuration is a simple script that tells the Installer how to Install and configure ESXi.

A Kickstart configuration is commonly used for PXE boot installations and copied from the network. Another installation option is to create a bootable flash drive and copy the kickstart file to that drive. In some cases, when your infrastructure does not support PXE and you can only mount ISO files using remote management, you might want to inject the kickstart file into the ESXi Installation ISO.

This article explains how to inject a Kickstart scripted installation configuration to an official VMware ESXi ISO.

Read More »Automated ESXi Installation - Inject Kickstart File to ESXi ISO

Failed to load crypto64.efi - ESXi 7.0 U2 Upgrade Error

When you try to upgrade your ESXi host to the latest 7.0 U2 release using either the predefined update baselines or by using esxcli with the upgrade bundle, your ESXi host might fail to reboot with the following error message.

Loading /boot.cfg
Failed to load crypto64.efi
Fatal error: 15 (Not found)

The error can not be solved with the Shift+R method to restore the previous ESXi version. VMware is aware of the problem and has already removed the update bundle (VMware-ESXi-7.0U2-17630552-depot.zip) and Image Profile (ESXi-7.0.2-17630552-standard) from their repository. Currently, you only have two options to upgrade to ESXi 7.0 Update 2. If you already ran into the "Failed to load crypto64.efi" error, you have to take option 1, which will fix the error.

[Update 2021-03-13] - VMware has also disabled the image profile for 7.0.2. If you try an online update using ESXCLI or want to create a custom image using Imagebuilder, you get the following error:

[NoMatchError] No image profile found with name 'ESXi-7.0.2-17630552-standard' id = ESXi-7.0.2-17630552-standard Please refer to the log file for more details.

Read More »Failed to load crypto64.efi - ESXi 7.0 U2 Upgrade Error

VMware ESXi 7.0 - IO Devices not certified for upgrade

Beside Server Hardware, also double check if your IO Devices (eg. NIC, HBA,..) are supported when updating ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 6.7 to 7.0. The following devices were supported in vSphere 6.7 but are according to VMware's HCL not (yet) supported in vSphere 7.0.

  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • The list has been created with the help of my IO-Devices HCL in JSON Format.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.
  • In vSphere 7.0, VMKLinux driver compatibility has been deprecated and removed.

Read More »VMware ESXi 7.0 - IO Devices not certified for upgrade

VMware ESXi 7.0 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

Double-check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts to vSphere 7.0. Some systems have not been certified by their vendor yet. The following servers were supported in vSphere 6.7 but are according to VMware's HCL not yet supported in vSphere 7.0.

Your server is listed and you want to upgrade?

  • Usually, the list gets smaller a couple of weeks after a new vSphere version has been released. I will update this post when I notice changes.
  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • Servers get certified by their vendor, not VMware. If you want a server to get certified, ask your vendor.
  • Vendor support matrices sometimes differ from VMware HCL. Please ask your vendor or VMware whether you are allowed to upgrade.
  • The list has been created with the help of my HCL in JSON Format.
  • Follow the comments to get notified of updates.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.
  • The list only contains systems by the following vendors: Cisco, DELL, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo, and Supermicro

Read More »VMware ESXi 7.0 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

VMware ESXi 3.5 - 7.0 Hypervisor Size Comparison

The VMware bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for over 12 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 7.0.ESX.

  • 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 6.7 - 129,51 MB
  • ESXi 7.0 - 149,40 MB

Read More »VMware ESXi 3.5 - 7.0 Hypervisor Size Comparison

Free ESXi 7.0 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 7.0 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 VMware's website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version but with some software limitations.

Tech Specs and Limitations

  • No commercial support (Community support)
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • Some API functionality is missing (API is read-only)
  • No physical CPU limitation
  • Number of logical CPUs per host: 480
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8
  • The Key is restricted to 100 Physical Servers deployments.

Other limitations like the 32GB Memory or 2 CPU Socket limit are no longer in place.

Read More »Free ESXi 7.0 - How to Download and get License Keys

Free ESXi 6.7 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 6.7 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 VMware's website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version but with some software limitations.

Tech Specs and Limitations

  • No commercial support (But great community support)
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • Some API functionality is missing
  • No physical CPU limitation
  • Number of logical CPUs per host: 480
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8

Other limitations like the 32GB Memory or 2 CPU Socket limit are no longer in place.

Read More »Free ESXi 6.7 - How to Download and get License Keys

VMware ESXi 6.7 - IO Devices not certified for upgrade

vmware-hcl-65Beside Server Hardware, also double check if your IO Devices (eg. NIC, HBA,..) are supported when updating ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 6.5 to 6.7. The following devices were supported in vSphere 6.5 but are according to VMware's HCL not (yet) supported in vSphere 6.7.

  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • The list has been created with the help of my IO-Devices HCL in JSON Format.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.

Read More »VMware ESXi 6.7 - IO Devices not certified for upgrade

VMware ESXi 6.7 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

Double check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts from to vSphere 6.7. Some systems have not been certified by their vendor yet. The following servers were supported in vSphere 6.5 but are according to VMware's HCL not yet supported in vSphere 6.7.

Your server is listed and you want to upgrade?

  • Usually, the list gets smaller a couple of weeks after a new vSphere version has been released. I will update this post when I notice changes.
  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • Servers get certified by their vendor, not VMware. If you want a server to get certified, ask your vendor.
  • Vendor support matrices sometimes differ from VMware HCL. Please ask your vendor or VMware whether you are allowed to upgrade.
  • The list has been created with the help of my HCL in JSON Format.
  • Follow the comments to get notified of updates.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.

Read More »VMware ESXi 6.7 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

VMware ESXi 3.5 - 6.7 Hypervisor Size Comparison

The VMware bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for over 10 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 6.7.

  • 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 6.7 - 129,51 MB

Read More »VMware ESXi 3.5 - 6.7 Hypervisor Size Comparison