Create a bootable USB installer for VMware ESXi / vSphere Hypervisor on MacOS

[Guide updated: 21st. March 2019]

This project includes a simple makefile that helps you create a bootable USB installer for VMware ESXi on MacOS.

Background on VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is a lightweight operating system designed to run virtual machines. Whenever you hear about someone running virtual machines or cloud servers they’re using ESXi, Xen, QEMU/KVM, or a similar technology under the hood.

ESXi is proprietary software, but you can download it and use it for free. You will need to register for a VMware account and download ESXi (also called “vSphere Hypervisor”) before you use this script.


  1. Download the make script here and the ESXi ISO and copy it into the same folder as the script. The ESXi ISO will have a long name with a version number likeVMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0-8169922.x86_64. Rename it to esxi.iso so the script can find it.
  2. You should always first update/install the newest Command Line Developer Tools from Apple. Run xcode-select --install
  3. Run make devices
  4. Insert your USB stick. You’ll see a new device appear in step 5.
  5. Run make devices
  6. Note the disk number for your USB stick. It will be something like /dev/disk2 (external, physical):. The only part you care about is 2 (or 3, or 4, or whatever) for step 7.
  7. make vmware DISK=2 (case sensitive) Note: This step might ask for your password for sudo.
  8. Pop the USB stick into the computer you want to vmware-ify and restart it.

PS! Depending on how fast your USB stick is, step 7 may take a while.

Source: GitHub

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