Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Installing ESXi 5 on Intel DX58SO2 whitebox

Now that the parts have been assembled, vSphere 5 installer copied to USB thumb drive and BIOS updated, it's time for installation.

But first, a few BIOS tweaks. It appears that ESXi 5 installer refuses to run from my USB flash drive unless UEFI option in BIOS is enabled. To do that:
  • go to your BIOS Setup (press F2 during boot)
  • go to "Boot" menu
  • change "UEFI boot" option to "Enabled"
While we're here, make sure USB boot is enabled as well. Then go to "Security" and enable all options related to Virtualization. Plug your USB drive, save and exit.

By the way, there are two main reasons I went with this particular board. First, it's got two Gigabit network interfaces, meaning I can use it as firewall and/or router. Second, all components, including network and storage controller (except Intel's firmware RAID, a.k.a. Matrix Storage Technology), are supported out of the box. Once again big thanks to for maintaining their Whitebox HCL and forum. With no drivers to worry about, installation just takes care of itself.

While you're at the console, set your root password, configure your management interface and, a nice little addition to version 5, enable SSH and ESXi Shell.

It's almost too easy, compared to my last install.