VMware: How to Create Virtual Machine and Install Guest OS using vSphere Client

by Ramesh Natarajan on July 12, 2010

Once you’ve installed VMware ESXi Server and vSphere client, you can start creating VM instance and install a guest operating system on it ( e.g. Linux, Windows, etc.,) as explained in this article.

1. Launch Create VM Wizard

Login to the ESXi server using vSphere Client. Provide the ESXi root username and password.

From the vSphere client menu, select File -> New -> Virtual Machine, which will launch the create new virtual machien wizard as shown below. Choose “Typical” for the configuration.

2. Specify the Virtual Machine Name

Specify the name of the VM instance in the “Name and Location” section. In this example, I gave db-server as the VM name.

3. Choose the Datastore

vSphere client will display all the datastore available in the ESXi server. In this example, there is only one datastore available with the name “datastore1″.

4. Choose Guest OS of the Virtual Machine

Choose from one of the following guest operating system that you would like to install.

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Linux
  • Novell NetWare
  • Solaris
  • Other

In the following example, I choose Linux and “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (32-bit)” from the “Version” drop-down list.

Please note that creating virtual machine does not install the guest OS for you. You still have to do it once you’ve created the virtual machine.

5. Create a Disk for VM

Choose how much disk space you would like to allocated from the datastore for this particular VM. In this example, the available disk-space in the “datastore1″ is 130 GB. I’ve allocated 60 GB for the virtual disk of this particular VM.

6. VM – Ready to Install

The wizard will display your choices in the “Ready to Complete” section as shown below.

7. Virtual Machine Created – View Summary

Once the virtual machine is created, you can view the summary as shown below.

This displays following information about the VM.

  • Guest OS of the VM
  • CPU allocated for this VM
  • Memory (RAM) allocated for this VM
  • Disk space

8. Install the guest OS on the VM

Once the VM is installed, insert the guest OS CD in the cd-drive. In this example, the guest OS is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. So, I inserted the RHEL 5 cd in the cd-drive.

After this, you can install the Linux OS on the VM from the “Console” tab of the virtual machine as shown below.


Linux Sysadmin Course Linux provides several powerful administrative tools and utilities which will help you to manage your systems effectively. If you don’t know what these tools are and how to use them, you could be spending lot of time trying to perform even the basic administrative tasks. The focus of this course is to help you understand system administration tools, which will help you to become an effective Linux system administrator.
Get the Linux Sysadmin Course Now!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like..

  1. 50 Linux Sysadmin Tutorials
  2. 50 Most Frequently Used Linux Commands (With Examples)
  3. Top 25 Best Linux Performance Monitoring and Debugging Tools
  4. Mommy, I found it! – 15 Practical Linux Find Command Examples
  5. Linux 101 Hacks 2nd Edition eBook Linux 101 Hacks Book

Bash 101 Hacks Book Sed and Awk 101 Hacks Book Nagios Core 3 Book Vim 101 Hacks Book

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sowmya February 28, 2011 at 2:09 am

How to install a virtual machine on a remote server using VMware VSphere client from local desktop????

2 Sowmya February 28, 2011 at 2:10 am

How to Create Virtual Machine and Install Guest OS using vSphere Client
on a remote server????

3 Anonymous December 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

@Sowmya : you can login to remote server using vSphere Client. Once you logged in to remote server you will be able to see Cluster, Esxi server(host), Datastore, etc.
And it is the same procedure which you follow on local server.
i.e. right click on Esxi host –> select Create Virtual Machine –> Then configure it as per hardware requirement and install Guest OS.

4 Manjinder February 1, 2012 at 5:33 am

I’m confused…

So i’ve ran and installed vSphere ESXI v4.1 on my HP ProLiant
I’ve installed vSphere Client on my Windows 7 Desktop and created a new VM labelled server 2008 r2 when i go to console it says no operating system found which is correct as nothing has been installed.

My question is…..how do i Install the guest o/s (server 2008) on the SERVER?
I can power up the console and and clickl Connect CD/DVD and choose iso on my windows 7 machine…..but doesn’t the image install on the local windows 7 machine? how do i install so all the virtual images are stored on the HOST (Server ESXI)?

5 Arpan February 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm

my main os is 32 bit and guest os is 64 bit will it work

6 Anonymous April 4, 2012 at 11:18 am

This is all very nice. However you leave out the key step to the process. You do not address HOW TO TRIGGER THE INSTALL.

7 Alan December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

As Anonymous says, there’s info missing here.
To boot from CD I had first to do these steps in vSphere Client
(a) Edit Settings / Options tab / Boot Options / Force BIOS setup
(b) Boot the VM – boot process stops in Phoenix BIOS setup
(c) Attach the CD (I connected the CD/DVD drive to a local ISO)
(d) In the VM console, in BIOS setup, change the Boot options so the CD-ROM device is the top of the list
(e) Press F10 in the BIOS to save and continue booting (then press left ctrl+alt to free the cursor)
Now the VM will begin to boot from the CD, DVD or ISO chosen.

Steps (a) and (c) only apply one time; after starting the VM these settings are reset. The BIOS boot order stays set until manually changed, so you may want to restore the original boot order after the OS has been installed to avoid CD read attempts.

8 Hans March 21, 2013 at 7:09 am

Thank you Alan. Very helpfull!

9 Alex April 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Further to Alan’s comment –

Go to the ‘Virtual Machines’ tab and right click on your VM. Select ‘edit settings’.

In the Hardware tab, there’s an cd-dvdrom device. Make sure it’s pointing to the host’s drive instead of ‘client device’. This allows the VM to access the server’s optical media.

10 Nate May 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Any way to install the client OS from a USB instead of a CD/DVD?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: