Welcome to vm-help.com - home of the Unofficial VMware ESX Server Whitebox HCL. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave a comment on one of the pages or start a discussion in the forum. This site has now been updated for the release of ESXi 4.0. The old ESXi 3.5 home page can be found here.

Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009, 2010


The Whitebox HCL is a list of servers, PCs, motherboards and storage controllers that are not officially supported for use with VMware ESX and ESXi, but have been found to function properly. If you have a system that you'd like to try that isn't on VMware HCL or the Whitebox HCL, you can check here to see if ESXi 4.0 will recognize your storage and network controller.

Getting started with ESXi 4.x Installable
What's in the ESXi 4.0 End User License Agreement (EULA)?
How do I know if ESXi will run on my hardware? See what hardware support was dropped in ESXi 4.0.
Install ESX on your host - watch an install video
Download the VI client and configure your host
Change your host's network name and SSL certificate   
Manage your ESXi host with RCLI commands   
Create roles and assign permissions with a standalone host
vSphere 4 CPU core licensing limits

ESXi Install Options

Install ESXi 4.0 to an IDE drive (or to a SATA controller using the IDE driver) 
Upgrade your host from ESXi 3.5 to 4.0 without using VirtualCenter
Extract and run the ESXi 4.0 install image to a USB flash drive or install directly from the install ISO to a USB device
Install ESXi 4.0 from a PXE server
Install ESXi 4.0 from a USB flash drive  
Watch an install video for ESXi
Common install and upgrade issues
Reset your ESXi system configuration
Upgrade your VM virtual hardware to version 7
VMware adds Marvell NIC support in ESXi 4.1.

ESXi Tips and Tricks

Check the security compliance of your hosts with VMware Compliance Checker
access to licensing information on a host
Root permissions required for virtual machine automatic startup
Create a Raw Device Mapping (RDM) with local SATA disk to provide a VM direct access to the disk
Managing ESXi without the VI client or the vCLI
     Part 1 - Initial setup and creating a virtual machine
     Part 2 - Adding a license serial number, configuring auto startup and shutdown for VMs and unregistering a VM
     Part 3 - Creating a DMZ and a multi NIC VM to act as a firewall
     Part 4 - Applying a firmware update
     Part 5 - Creating a datastore and migrating VMs
     Part 6 - Adding a virtual disk to a VM and reseting your licence configuration
     Part 7 - Deleting a virtual disk and editing VM settings
     Part 8 - Expand a Windows system VMDK and recovery after deleting the files for a running VM
Go black and white with the DCUI
Add a boot delay to ESXi
Modify oem.tgz to add custom install files and hardware support. Create a custom install image.
Enable SSH Access to ESXi (also change the port for SSH, enable Telnet and enable SSH for non root accounts)
Restart the ESXi management agents from the console or SSH
Install ESXi 3.5 patches without VirtualCenter
Patch ESXi 4.1 host with the 4.0 Host Update Utility
mport the RCLI virtual appliance and then give the RCLI appliance a static IP address
Enable SSH access for the root login to the RCLI
Single sign on options for the VI client
Passing options to the vmkernel when booting or installing ESXi
ping versus vmkping for ESXi
Modify the password complexity settings for ESXi
Reset the root password
The Active Directory integration "Trusted Domain Controllers" field  
Disable a driver


ESXi Performance

Extend performance data to 36 hours with a stand alone host
Transfer files to and from ESXi with FTP (and enable enhanced wget and use rsync)
Increasing datastore file transfer speeds with http transfers


Check out user submitted devices and servers on the VMDirectPath Unsupported HCL. Submit your own device or server here.
Use VMDirectPath to attach a local USB device to a VM
Troubleshooting host VMDirectPath issues
Where is the VMDirectPath configuration stored?

ESXi Troubleshooting

IPMI log files fill the MAINSYS file system
"Missing" error when trying to export the system logs for a host
Booting a host with two local ESXi installations
Mount a VMFS datastore for recovery purposes with the ESXi install CD
Troubleshooting common issues
Run a file system check on the ESXi system partitions.
Disable CIM and / or OEM CIM providers right after an ESXi install and prior to the initial boot
Restart the ESXi management agents from the console or SSH
Fix the error 'The VMware ESX Server does not have persistent storage' after an upgrade
You access your ESXi host with a web browser and the screen is blank
Dealing with the error: Can't admit VM: Memory admission check failed
After an upgrade to ESXi 4.0 your VMs are marked as unknown (inaccessible) and your datastore has been renamed to snap-xxxxxxxx-<datastore>