How to Configure Scripted ESX Installations


Using Floppy Disk and CD-ROM

Build the Kickstart Config File

  • Browse to an existing ESX server at http://esxservername
  • Click Log in to the Scripted Installer at right
  • Click Yes in the Security Alert message window
  • Log in with User name “root” and this server’s root account password
  • Select Installation Type Initial Installation
  • Select Installation Method CD-ROM
  • Leave Remote Server URL empty
  • Select Network Method Static IP
  • Select Yes for Create a default network for VMs
  • Verify the VLAN value is 0
  • Set Time Zone appropriately
  • Select Yes for Reboot after Installation
  • Enter a password without any space characters for the Root Password
  • Click Next
  • Enter required values for Hostname, IP address, Netmask, Gateway and Nameserver and click Next
  • Accept the Licence Agreement and click Next
  • In the Partition Configuration table, change the “/” partition size to 10000, the “swap” partition size to 1500 and the /var/log partition size to 4000
  • Verify that the Licensing Mode is set to Use License Server
  • Click Next
  • Set the License server name to mpxsydvc1.mpxnsw.ad.multiplex.biz and the Port to 2700
  • Set the ESX Server License Type to Standard
  • Click Next

 

  • Click Download Kickstart File
  • Click Save and save the Kickstart File KS.cfg to floppy disk

Note:  Never, ever, ever edit or even open a Kickstart config file in Notepad. Only ever use Wordpad. Now, read the previous sentence again. If you choose to ignore this, then don’t bother reading the rest of this document as none of it will work!

  • Close the browser.

Run a Scripted Installation

  • At the server which is to have VMware ESX installed, boot the server from an ESX installation CD-ROM
  • At the ESX Server 3 installation method selection screen, type:

esx ks=floppy method=cdrom and press Enter

  • Allow the installation to proceed through to completion
  • The CD-ROM will be ejected – remove the disk
  • The server will reboot into VMware ESX Server


Using PXE and RIS

Build the Kickstart Config File

  • Browse to an existing ESX server at http://esxservername
  • Click Log in to the Scripted Installer at right
  • Click Yes in the Security Alert message window
  • Log in with User name “root” and this server’s root account password
  • Select Installation Type Initial Installation
  • Select Installation Method Remote
  • Edit  the Remote Server URL to ftp://ftpserverFQDN/

e.g. ftp://mpxbnebck1.mpxqld.ad.multiplex.biz/

  • Select Network Method DHCP
  • Select Yes for Create a default network for VMs
  • Verify the VLAN value is 0
  • Set Time Zone appropriately
  • Select Yes for Reboot after Installation
  • Enter a password without any space characters for the Root Password
  • Click Next
  • Enter required values for Hostname, IP address, Netmask, Gateway and Nameserver and click Next
  • Accept the Licence Agreement and click Next
  • In the Partition Configuration table, change the “/” partition size to 10000, the “swap” partition size to 1500 and the /var/log partition size to 4000
  • Verify that the Licensing Mode is set to Use License Server
  • Click Next
  • Set the License server name to mpxsydvc1.mpxnsw.ad.multiplex.biz and the Port to 2700
  • Set the ESX Server License Type to Standard
  • Click Next
  • Click Download Kickstart File
  • Click Save
  • Save the Kickstart File KS.cfg to a temporary location and close the browser.

Note:  Never, ever, ever edit or even open a Kickstart config file in Notepad. Only ever use Wordpad. Now, read the previous sentence again. If you choose to ignore this, then don’t bother reading the rest of this document as none of it will work!


Configure RIS

  • At an available Windows Server 2003 server, install and configure Microsoft RIS
  • In the RIS folder structure, create the following folders:
    • RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux
    • RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386
    • RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates
    • RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates\pxelinux.cfg
  • Copy the following files from the \isolinux folder on the ESX CD-ROM to the RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates folder:
    • boot.msg
    • initrd.img
    • splash.lss
    • vmlinuz
  • Download syslinux from http:www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux and copy the following files to the RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates folder:
    • pxelinux.0
  • In the RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates folder, create a file pxelinux.sif with the following content:

[OSChooser]

Description = “VMware ESX Server 3.0.1”

Help = “This option runs a Linux installer to install VMware ESX Server 3.0.1.”

LaunchFile = “Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates\pxelinux.0″

ImageType = Flat

Version=”1.01”

  • In the RISdrive:\RISfolder\Setup\English\Images\PXELinux\i386\templates\pxelinux.cfg folder, create a file default (no extension) with the following content:

DEFAULT esx

prompt 0

timeout 1000

label esx

kernel vmlinuz

append ksdevice=eth0 initrd=initrd.img ks=ftp://IP_address_of_FTP_server/vmwareesx301/ks.cfg

 

 

Configure FTP Server

  • At an available FTP server, create the folder VMWareESX301
  • Copy the entire contents of an ESX Server Installation CD-ROM into this folder
  • Copy the KS.cfg file created above and stored in a temporary location into this folder

 

Run a Scripted Installation

  • At the server which is to have VMware ESX installed, boot the server and select PXE Installation (F12)
  • Select the ESX Server 3.01 installation option
  • Continue through the RIS process and allow the ESX installation to proceed through to completion
  • The server will reboot into VMware ESX Server
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