ESXi automated installation

inf3rno

n00b
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
52
Hi!
I am new to ESXi. What I want to achieve is automatically install the OS on an x64 hardware from pendrive using Ventoy without having video card, IGP, screen or any kind of display solution. After installing it accessing it via SSH using key based auth on the local network. The hardware boots headless. Is this possible or should I buy a video card? Can you recommend a tutorial in the topic?
Regards,
inf3rno
 

dbwillis

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Messages
8,732
Youll need to learn scripting to perform the fully automated install, and youll have to set the IP or name so you can get to it via SSH when the install is done, unless you have another way to find out what to SSH into,
Not sure why your asking if you should buy a video card if you know the hardware boots headless ?
Tutorial ? Google.com for whatever scripting method you want to learn
 

Eulogy

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,909
Why mess around at all?
PXE boot to ESXi installer that has a kick start in it. Have this set admin user/pass, temporary static IP address (+ other relevant net info), enable (temporary) password auth SSH.

Once booted post-install, have automation (either pyvmomi or powercli) to do all of your production config.

This isn't too difficult to do. Tons and tons of guides out there on each piece.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,505
It's possible to install on another machine and then stick the USB stick / sd card into the machine you intend to run. That's probably the easiest solution if possible. I installed ESXi on my DL560 and then ran moved the USB drive into my DL580 an was able to use it without issue, not sure if that would make it easier. They are similar machines, but not identical, they have different RAID cards and different network cards. Obviously if you're installing to HDD or SDD you'd have to put that in the machine you're installing on and then swap when done if that's an option.
 

inf3rno

n00b
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
52
Youll need to learn scripting to perform the fully automated install, and youll have to set the IP or name so you can get to it via SSH when the install is done, unless you have another way to find out what to SSH into,
Not sure why your asking if you should buy a video card if you know the hardware boots headless ?
Tutorial ? Google.com for whatever scripting method you want to learn
Because it is useful knowledge.
 

inf3rno

n00b
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
52
It's possible to install on another machine and then stick the USB stick / sd card into the machine you intend to run. That's probably the easiest solution if possible. I installed ESXi on my DL560 and then ran moved the USB drive into my DL580 an was able to use it without issue, not sure if that would make it easier. They are similar machines, but not identical, they have different RAID cards and different network cards. Obviously if you're installing to HDD or SDD you'd have to put that in the machine you're installing on and then swap when done if that's an option.
No other computer with M2 slot, but I am about to buy one. I borrowed a videocard and a screen and installed it meanwhile.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,505
Just curious why you would waste space on your m.2 for esxi. One of the benefits of esxi over something like prkxmox is that it can run from USB or sdcard, which you can easily backup and replace (or in a real server have an installed backup). Sure the boot will take a few more seconds, but once it's loaded there is no difference and you can have 100% of your m.2 space for VMs.
 
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