ESXi Kickstart installation (Scripted / weasel installation)

ESXi Kickstart installation (Scripted / weasel installation)
This is a part of the VCAP-DCV Deploy exam and it is a sub part of the Objective 1.1. These are the steps that you can follow for ESXi unattended installation. In other words steps for the kick start installation.
Mainly, you can perform this unattended aka kickstart installation in three ways:
  • Burn or create a new ISO file with the kickstart file
  • Copy kickstart file in to a usb and point it in the installation
  • Use a remote server and point the kick start file with the proper protocol (http,NFS,FTP)

First of all, there is a kickstart file in the “/etc/vmware/weasel/ks.cfg” location in the ESXi. You can use the same kickstart file and edit and do the modification according to your deployment requirements.

Here is the default “ks.cfg” file and the content

Firstly, I would like to show the kickstart installation from a remote server, I have installed a Windows IIS web server and created a website application to push the kisckstart file. Added the “MIME Type” to understand the “.cfg” extension to the IIS server.

Added the file extension and the MIME Type as below

Copied the default kickstart file in to the web root directory

And tested the IIS server functionality of the kickstart file after typing the server url in the browser.

So, let’s test the kickstart installation using the default file, boot the ESXi server with the ISO file and at the “Loading VMware Hypervisor” window press “Shift” and “O” together to apply the kickstart option. Type the remote kickstart file path with the protocol, in my case it’s http.

You can use “weasel ks=http://<remote_server_IP>/<site_folder>/<kickstart_file>” , it is working without the “weasel” at the beginning.

Example : runweasel ks= OR ks=

According to the default kickstart file below configuration will apply to the host:

  • default root password is “mypassword” (without the quotes)
  • IP address assignment DHCP
  • vmnic0 will be used to the management network

You won’t get any window to accept the EULA or hit the Enter key in the installation.

So now, I’m going to do the modification to the kickstart file and do the configuration in the installation

I have made the below changes to the kickstart file

New configuration as follows:

  • root password “Welcome01” (without the quotes)
  • Change IP address (static) to
  • Use Subnet mask as
  • Set the default gateway as
  • DNS Server set to

And used the new kickstart file in the installation

Let the server to perform the installation and check the configurations.That’s the remote server kickstart installation.

The other options are you can use the modified kickstart file inside the ISO file and use it in the installation.

The easiest way that you can do is use an ISO image burning software “WinISO” to copy the kickstart file and create a new ISO image.

Complete Tutorial Guide can be found in here.

Use the kickstart file as below in the installation

runweasel ks=cdrom:/<path_to_the_kickstrat_file>/ks.cfg

If you are using a USB drive use it as below

runweasel ks=usb:/<path_to_the_kickstart_file>/ks.cfg

When you are modifying the kickstart file there are lots of options available in the deployment guide. You can find the vSphere Installation and Setup guide here.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 4 Average: 5]

One response

  1. Dudi Avatar

    Thanks for the detailed post!
    I wonder how I can access a data file from within the KS file.
    I intend to read from this data file that resides in the same directory as the KS file.
    This seems like a trivial mission, but unfortunately, I didn’t find a way to make this work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *