Running VMware ESX 3.5 and ESXi in Workstation on your desktop PC

by David Davis on September 16, 2008

Looking for information on running  vSphere 4 inside Workstation? Checkout:

Running VMware ESXi 4 / vSphere in VMware Workstation – VIDEO

In my new video, I demonstrate, step by step, how you can run VMware ESX Server 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 inside VMware Workstation 6.5. This is also shown in my Train Signal VMware ESX Server video training course.

While you wouldn’t run ESX in Workstation for a production server, running ESX in Workstation is an excellent way to test and demonstrate ESX Server (and the entire VMware Virtual Infrastructure suite) on a single PC. Think about it – what if you had a single PC with 2 ESX Servers, an iSCSI virtual SAN, and a Windows Server running Virtual Center. With that, you would have “VMware Infrastructure in a box” and be able to run powerful features like VMotion, SVMotion, VMHA, and Update Manager, all on a single PC.

Special thank you to for their “VI in a box” whitepaper that shows how to run ESX Server in VMware Workstation.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Deepak 01.28.11 at 11:20 pm

I have AMD64 Athlon 5000+ Processor with 5GB RAM, 80GB HDD for Host & 160GB to store the VM’s. I am using VMware Workstation 6.5 & in that I have installed ESX4.1 Evaluation Copy & Windows 2k3 (64-bit) Enterprise Edition. In Virtual guest machine of Windows 2k3, I have installed VIM4.1.0 Evaluation Copy & VI Client.
I used VI Client to access the single ESX Server. I have created a WinXP Guest machine in the ESX Server with default setting. I have already copied the ISO image of the WinXP in the vmimages folder of the ESX server & mounted to the virtual CD-ROM drive.
When I am trying to install the OS on WinXP Guest machine, I am not able to install the OS & getting the following error:

Running VMware ESX in a virtual machine requires the outer virtual machine to be configured for running a VMware ESX guest operating system. You cannot power on a virtual machine until the outer virtual machine is reconfigured.

Please help me.

Ajosh 06.03.11 at 9:13 am

Can i run VM player on ESXi. I get an error that need to configure outer virtual machine.

Mandar Shete 09.01.11 at 12:00 am

I have configured 3 ESX 4.0 (evaluation version) with vCenter 4.0 & Openfiler iSCSI SAN on my Acer Aspire 5745 Laptop using Workstation 7. But unable to deploy 64bit operating system on the any ESX host. On Laptop there is no option to enable / disable VT. Can someone help me on the this issue?

Mandar Shete

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