Create VMware ESXi USB Install Media

Screenshot of mounting ESXi iso file

Something Physical

It’s not often I install from physical media anymore, but it still has it’s uses. This USB stick, will be used to install ESXi, on my Intel NUCs, and the Mac Mini, in am upcoming post.

I’ll explore PXE boot in the future, as well, once the core infrastructure is completely operational.


Download the ESXi ISO from the VMware Download Website. This ISO needs to be written to the USB, and be made bootable.

There are many applications which can do this for you, in this example, we’ll be using UNetbootin.

Download the appropriate version for your OS. In this case, we’ll be using apt-get to install UNetbootin on Ubuntu 18.04.

Screenshot of unetbootin website

Add Repo

Open a terminal console, and type the following, to add the apt repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa

Screenshot of adding repo

Install UNetbootin Type:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unetbootin -y

Screenshot of installing unetbootin with apt install


Screenshot of installing unetbootin with apt install

Write ISO to USB, and Make Bootable. From the Ubuntu desktop. select activities, and search for unetbootin, and click to open.

Screenshot of launching unetbootin after install

UNetbootin gives the option to select, and download a distribution/version, or an ISO can be chosen.

Screenshot of unetbootin main screen

Select Diskimage, navigate to, and select the VMware ESXi downloaded from earlier. Click OK to begin.

Screenshot of unetbootin, and selecting the iso image to be writting to usb

Extracting files to be written to USB, and Installing bootloader.

Screenshot of unetbootin writing iso to usb

Click Exit, when the installation is complete.

Screenshot of unetbootin finished installing

Viewing the USB in a file manager, the VMware install files can be seen.

Screenshot of viewing content of usb

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