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Note: This article is deprecated. As of ESXi 6.7 or newer, manual installation of drivers is no longer necessary. Please see the guide covering ESXi 6.7 here.

ESXi is the VMware hypervisor for deploying multiple virtual machines on capable barebone hardware. ESXi version 6.0.0 Update 2 and Update 3 have been successfully installed on the FW6 series of the Vault. ESXi version 6.5 as packaged is not compatible with of the Vault because that version does not appear to recognize the Vault’s NIC ports, however there is a procedure to install the  proper drivers. See ESXi 6.5 instructions at the bottom of this page.

VMware recommends a minimum of 4 GB of RAM.  Our test installation used 8 GB.  The Vault FW6 series is capable of up to 32GB of RAM.

Note: The Vault FW1, FW2, and FW4 Series are not compatible with ESXi and thus are not supported.  

Steps to install ESXi 6.0 on the FW6 Vault

  • Verify that you have an account on VMware and permission to access the appropriate versions for download
  • Download the ISO image from the VMware link
  • Create a bootable USB with the ESXi image using Rufus or similar tool, see this link
  • Install the USB into an FW6 series Vault
  • Connect the Vault to the network via the WAN port that is connected to a DHCP enabled switch
  • Power on and verify the Vault boots to the USB
  • Follow the on screen installation instructions
  • When installation is complete, the Vault will reboot and the IP address will be displayed on the ESXi console
  • To access the ESXi management console, browse to “http://<IP address>/ui” Example
  • Login with User: root and Password:created during installation
  • Verify the ESXi dashboard is displayed

protectli esxi

ESXi Dashboard

ESX Network Configuration

In order to properly access each of the Vault’s network ports from your virtual machines, you will need to configure the network interfaces from within the ESX User Interface.

  • Under “Networking”, choose “Physical NIC’s” and Add each of the remaining Network Interfaces.  An example of this can be found in the screenshot below

protectli esxi network

Physical NICs

Next, under “Networking –> Port Groups”, Add a port group for the physical port you wish to be able to access from your virtual machine.

protectli esxi networkingPort Groups

  • Finally, from within your Virtual Machine configuration, “add network adapter” and choose the appropriate Network Port Group.

protectli esxi port group

Add Port Group

Steps to install ESXi 6.5 on the FW6 Vault

ESXi 6.5 apparently does not include the drivers for the Intel 82583V NICs even though they were included in previous versions. The symptom is that once the .iso file is created and the installation is in progress, an error message “No Network Adapters Found” or similar will appear on the screen. There is a thread at this VMware link discussing the very issue. The solution is to create a custom ISO file using VMware PowerShell. We have repeated the instructions below in case that link is removed.

  • On a Windows PC, download and install the VMware PowerCLI application.
  • Download both the and the to your desktop and launch a PowerShell session.
  • Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\,.\
  • Get-EsxSoftwarePackage -Name net-e1000e
  • New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard” -name “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v” -Vendor vGhetto
  • Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v” -SoftwarePackage “net-e1000e”
  • Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v” -SoftwarePackage “ne1000”
  • Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v” -SoftwarePackage “net-e1000e”
  • Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v” -ExportToISO -filepath ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard-82583v.iso

We have used these instructions to successfully create an ISO for ESXi 6.5 Update 1 and install it on the FW6 series of the vault. See screenshot below.

protectli esxi host

ESXi 6.5 Dashboard

After installation, the Vault should be up and running. If you experience any issues, please feel free to reach out to, or find more information in our Knowledge Base.