Installing ESXi 5.1 & vCenter 5.1 on VirtualBox

Installing ESXi 5.1 & vCenter 5.1 on VirtualBox

This is a probably silly post, but I wanted to create a reference for all of those guys installing ESXi 5.1 in general and using VirtualBox, the steps are the same as ESXi 5.0, so here we go:

ESXi Machine Configuration on VirtualBox:

For the VM, create a Lunix 64-bit machine, and configure it as following:

at least 2100 MB of memory (ESXi installation will not complete if he detects memory below 2 GB):


For the CPU, configure the machine with at least 2 processors, the installation will not continue if have 1 CPU:



You might want to configure acceleration, however you won’t be able to start 64-bit machines on ESXi nested inside VirtualBox, this is because the VB doesn’t virtualize the CPU virtualization capabilities to VMs running inside it (sad).


For the network, make sure to select a network that is detectable by the ESXi installation:


once done, map the ISO file and let us rockNroll Winking smile.

Installing ESXi 5.1:

The screenshots are direct:






Once done you are on the go, wait for the installation to complete.

Installing vCenter 5.1:

vCenter 5.1 introduce the new SSO thing, in this article, I am choosing to install the Basic SSO/vCenter combination, for the full SSO cluster thing, I will highly recommend

Let us start with our next, next ok Journey:








Once done with the SSO, setup will prompt you for the service information:





So once installed you are done with your single server installation, congrats….Open-mouthed smile

17 thoughts on “Installing ESXi 5.1 & vCenter 5.1 on VirtualBox

  1. Which linux flavor are you using?

  2. Thank ya so much for saving my time and frustration 🙂 That ” No Network Adapter ” error was killing me. Thanks again keep the good work.

    1. you welcome!!!, glad that I helped :).

  3. Rodolphe

    How can i run 64 bits virtual machine into the vmware installation ?

    1. You cannot because virtual box does not virtualize some cpu features that enables x64 vm inside virtualized hypervisor, you need to use vmware workstation to do that

  4. Hey thanks for the post, not silly at all, i ran into some snags with the network cards and you cleared them up. Thank you!

  5. Michael

    Hi! i’m getting A Hardware_Virtualization WARNING after choosing a root passwd. is this because i’m doing this on a VirtualBox? or is this something i can just skip?
    Thx for the nice and easy tutorial though!

    1. that means that you will not be able to start x64 bit VMs inside the ESXi hosted inside Vbox

      1. Michael

        Ah ok, The problem is.. I don’t know if this CPU supports Hardware virtualization. (Working on macbook Pro) but im just testing this out. Havn’t worked with VMware virtualization before. Only did Xen so far because i had been told that previous versions of VMware ESXi were limited CPU and RAM-wise
        Thx for the reply and nice tutorial!

  6. Nisha

    Hello. I have a Dell server with Intel Xeon E5405 processor with virtualization enabled in BIOS. I am running ESXi 5.1.0 and i created a Centos 64 bit OS. Now i installed virtual box on it. I need to turn on a 64 bit host. However i get an error. system/setting /acceleration seems greyed out and would not let me view the setup. When i start the appliance, it gives an error VT-x is not available (VERR_+VMX_NO_VMX) NS_ERROR_FAILURE. Iconsole…..
    Any help is appreciated

    1. So the virtual box is installed on a VM or installed on the OS directly ?!

  7. Jeevan

    What if I install both esxi and vCenter on vbox?
    How should I configure the network then?

  8. Setting up @VMwarevSphere ESX 6 as guest on @VirtualBox doesn’t seem to work with any network adapter. Tried it?

    1. Mahmoud Magdy

      I will test it tomorrow and let you know

Leave a Reply