If you love VMware you have to love Apple and if you love ESX4.0 you have to love a Mac. Well, at least I know I do. Both companies are light years ahead of their competitors and characterized by superior design, excellent performance and both fighting Microsoft’s marketing machine.
Since I’m a great Mac fan and while reading the excellent whitepaper from Xtravirt on Installing ESX 4.0 on Workstation, I wondered how to install ESX 4.0 on VMware Fusion.
Here’s how I did it:
- Start VMware Fusion and create a new Virtual Machine (File -> New). Click on the Continue without disk button.
- Select the Create a custom virtual machine radio button and click Continue.
- In the Operating System field select Linux and in the Version field select Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 64-bit. Click Continue.
- Click on the Customize Settings button and enter a name and location for the virtual machine. Click Save.
- The new virtual machine gets created and the settings page appears. Click on Processors & RAM and increase the RAM to a minimum of 2048MB. Click Show All to get back.
- Click on Printers and deselect the Enabled checkbox. Click Show All to get back.
- Click on Network and select the Connect directly to the physical network (Bridged) option. Click Show All to get back.
- Click on Hard Disks and select the Pre-allocate disk space checkbox. Next deselect the Split into 2 GB files checkbox. I left the default disk size of 20GB. Click Show All to get back. In the popup window select Apply to apply the changes to the disk file.
- Click on CDs & DVDs. Select the Use disk image option and browse to the VMware ESX 4.0 ISO file. Click Show All to get back.
- Click on Sound and click the Remove Sound Device button. Click Remove in the popup window and click Show All to get back.
- Click on USB Devices and click the Remove USB Controller button. Click Remove in the popup window and click Show All to get back.
- Click on Other Devices and click the minus sign on the bottom-left. Click Remove in the popup window to remove the serial port and click Show All to get back.
- We’re all done now and we can close the settings window.
To be able to create virtual machines inside our virtual ESX server we need to edit the .vmx file. So close fusion and browse to the location where you stored the ESX VM. Select it, right click and select show package contents. Now locate the .vmx file and open it in TextEdit and add the following lines:
monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = TRUE
monitor_control.vt32 = TRUE
- Now we’re ready to go. Start VMware Fusion again and power on the virtual ESX server. From here on, follow the Xtravirt documentation starting at “chapter 4.0 – Install VMware ESX 4.0″
I first ran this procedure on VMware Fusion 2.0.2 and my VM crashed whenever I tried to power on a VM inside the ESX server. After upgrading to VMware Fusion 2.0.4 this issue was resolved. So make sure to upgrade to VMware Fusion 2.0.4 which is a free, downloadable upgrade for all VMware Fusion customers.
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