VMware ESXi 5 Whitebox

I just recently purchased a new PC which I have turned into my VMware ESXi 5.0 Whitebox. More posts to come soon as I prepare my virtual environment!

Gateway DX4860
Intel i5 processor
8GB RAM
1TB HDD

This screen shows the ESXi host management console. It’s a custom version of Linux designed by VMware to be a baremetal hypervisor and leave a minimal footprint on the host.

With the ESXi host prepared, we are now ready to navigate to the IP address of the host to install VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client on my laptop. This will be used to remotely manage the host and virtual machines.

This the welcome screen you receive when navigating the host’s IP address. On this page, vmWare provides you tools needed to remotely manage the ESXi host.


Using VMware Virtual Infrastructure client to access the host. I logged into the host using the root credentials, but once my servers are configured access will be delegated through Active Directory user accounts with the required security group privilege.

Preparing for Windows Server 2008 to be installed as a virtual machine. This will be my Primary Domain Controller on my network.

Installing Windows Server 2003. This will just be a member server on the domain and will have VMware virtual infrastructure client installed on it. That way, if I don’t have my primary Windows laptop I can still VPN back to that server and access the ESXi host using that virtual machine. This machine will also run automated tasks, scripts, and handle backups.

A quick view of the usage statistics with both virtual machines running.

4 thoughts on “VMware ESXi 5 Whitebox

  1. Chris – I saw your blog, so I bought the same PC for esx51. However, vmware crashes constantly. Did you change the machine at all? What version of esx are you running?
    Thanks, Ron

  2. Ron, this is Chris. Are you still having issues with the install of ESXi5 on the Gateway? I had no issues other than a bad NIC card that was faulty out of the box. Warranty sent me a replacement and it’s been good ever since. Are you sure your disc burn is good? Here’s a thought, try booting up vmware player on your PC, connect the esxi5 iso to it, and install it to a USB (1GB). Then boot the Gateway to USB and see if that works. I didn’t have to do that, but that way should allow you to utilize the full diskspace without using the 700+mb for the ESXi5 install.

    • Chris, Thank you for replying. I ended up returning that PC. It was a refurb i5 from geeks.com for $400. I bought a new DX4870 (i7 with 2tb) for $800. ESXi 5 did would not recognize the NIC, so I bought a PCIe slot Intel card and it works like a charm – although it did crash when I copied over a VM that I did not know was corrupted. I love the idea of running ESXi from USB. Thanks for your help.

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