VIDEO: Jumpstart ESXi and P2V with VMware GO

by David Davis on December 3, 2009

I just released a new video to add to my vSphere video training course. This video covers VMware’s GO – a free product that provides SMBs the ability to download ESXi, install it, configure it, create new VMs, perform P2V, download VMs, and manage ESXi servers and VMs once up and running. GO is completely web-based, once you have watched my video, you can try out VMware GO for yourself!

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron 12.08.09 at 2:50 pm

Excellent video David. Well put together, good pace, and quite informative.

Muhammad Aamir Zahoor 01.10.10 at 3:36 am

I saw this video and get the concept in just 20 minutes. Great work done by you.
Good luck.

Kevin Houston 01.14.10 at 12:52 pm

VMware Go finally released on 1/13/2010. The VMware website has a link to this site. Good job on the video – very imformative.

Mateus 01.17.10 at 10:26 am

Great Video. Congratulations.

JvPSquared 01.19.10 at 2:40 am

Found your video after I installed it the ‘hard way’. Very good video, could have saved me some time if I’d found it earlier.

Vincent RABAH 01.19.10 at 2:57 pm

Very impressive, I’m using VMware Server 1 for some years and want to test Go NOW !!!
It’s seems to be a very exiting experience 🙂

tux@free-esxi 01.21.10 at 7:16 am

Hmm, so this is just working on a windows pc/server so nothing for me. I am wondering if there is a PowerCLI for the free version of esxi (4.0), as I haven’t found anything so far. Would you know where to find any cli for the free esxi server, as I haven’t got an windows pc to use the VI Client. Thanks

MarKos 02.20.10 at 8:43 am

The Download and Install fauils because the automitic burn of the download misses a license. Error:
Bad magic number: This license ID is not supported anymore. Please contact Rocket Division Software at
—————————OK —————————

David Davis 02.23.10 at 12:14 pm

Hi Tux,

I checked with @HALr9000 on this and he said this concerning PowerCLI and Free ESXi compatibility-
“No, it is not fully compatible, but you can do some stuff with it. To be precise, you can only do read-only operations. This still exposes a lot of useful reporting scenarios, but in order to something as simple as power on a vm on an ESXi host, you need a vcenter license.”

mal everett 03.26.10 at 6:20 pm

Excellent Video – definitely will have a look at VmwareGO

DPino 04.02.10 at 10:09 am

Would these free products work with VmWare Vue for desktop virtualization. I am looking at this from the aspect of … most 5-10 user businesses suffer from Malware and Viruses more than to many servers on the network. Most of the clients I do work for have a domain controller running exchange and File & Print services. They do constantly jack up their desktops and have to reload their PC’s often. This is very expensive to the small business. Any solutions for this?

Esther 04.03.10 at 11:36 pm

I noticed in the video that you said if you install ESXi in localhost, then Go would not work on that computer? So it’s not like a VirtualBox condition where you can have a host and a client on the same machine? You probably think who would want to have the host and the client on the same machine, but I really like the concept of VMs and want to use it at home, keeping my main computer as clean as possible, since I try out a lot of trial software and stuff. If ESXi and Go won’t do this, is there an alternate solution that you would recommend?

Mike 05.06.10 at 1:09 pm

Good stuff!! David.

john 05.20.10 at 12:11 pm

Can you use VMware GO to move VMs on different esxi servers?

David Davis 05.20.10 at 1:20 pm

Hi John,
I’m not clear on what you mean about “move VM’s on different ESXi servers”.
GO isn’t going to give you VMotion but GO will allow you to P2V VMs to any of the ESXi servers managed by GO.
If you wanted to move a VM from one ESXi host to another, you would simply shutdown the VM, SCP the files to the new host, Add the VM, and power it on. All this could be done with the free vSphere Client that comes with ESXi.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the comments,

John 05.31.10 at 8:48 pm

where did the virtual machine saved? I mean the datastore of the vm? is it in the harddrive of the ESXi, NAS?

David Davis 06.17.10 at 1:57 pm

Yes, the VM was saved on the local datastore of the ESXi server but you could have also put it on a SAN or NAS connected to the ESXi host.

Thanks for watching!

Gary 07.21.10 at 1:34 pm

That Server does pretty good for only having 8MB of Ram. 🙂
Thanks for the video, very helpful

Craig 07.23.10 at 1:52 pm

Being a user of ESX/ESXi for 4 years and I wanted to see what VMWARE GO was about and your video was very information, Great Job! To be honest for a new user, I think VMware GO is overwhemling, then just using the ESXi install cd and then using the vi client to get in and create a VM. Just me I guess. Keep up the great work.

Des Miller 07.23.10 at 4:53 pm

Very efficient use of time with the video. Good information and well presented. I am impressed. Thank you David.

Vatsal 11.04.10 at 10:42 am

Great Video- very nice job.

Have one server already running windows2k8. Is it possible to to install ESXi on it and use P2V to run on the same box without destroying the current server
have to start from scratch – install ESXi (destroy current server) and then reinstall windows server again. if this is the case then can I save the current image first then bring it back.

Also dose ESXI support NAS/ISCSI for VMs


David Davis 11.04.10 at 8:47 pm

Hi Vatsal,
A few options are available:
1. Run ESXi as a VM inside Workstation under Win 2008 but only for testing
2. OR, start from scratch and install ESXi then reinstall Windows as a VM under ESXi. Yes, you could save the Win 2008 image by ghosting it and then P2V it into a VM under ESXi

Option #2 is what you have to do if you use these in production (option #1 is just for testing)

While you could connect a VM to an iSCSI SAN, more than likely, you want to move that data into a VMDK that keep that VMDK on the SAN (depends what type data it is and who else needs to access it)

Hope that helps!

Vatsal 11.05.10 at 12:55 pm

Thanks David,
I have used the workstation in past, but new to ESXi.
1) Downloaded both converter and ESXi. Converted 2 server in lab using converter P2V on a local pc.
2) Installed Esxi on server using boot cd and configure network accordingly.

Now the questions..
There is no interface on ESXi it self to create or import VMs – I guess have to use VMware GO.

from workstation can connect to ESXi box – trying to figure out how to upload those vm that I converted.

Is there a way to manage VM’s using ESXi box it self or have to use VM GO

Once I figure out this part then can play with SAN…

Thanks for your help and time.

David Davis 11.05.10 at 1:13 pm

Hi Vatsal,
Have you downloaded the vSphere client from your ESXi server? That is what you would run on your local PC to manage the ESXi host (without using GO). From that, you could create a new VM. To import a VM from workstation I would use the free VMware converter.
To upload VMs, converter can do it for you, you could use the datastore browser from the vsphere client, or you could download free winscp and copy them that way (after you enable Remote tech support mode on the ESXi server, assuming it is version 4.1)
Hope that helps!
Email me using
if you have more questions and want to send screenshots or whatever.

Thanks again!

vatsal 11.08.10 at 2:11 pm

Thanks David,

I have downloaded vsphere client. Still bit confuse. Would be nice to use just one tool do everything, rather than converter or go or vsphere client. I thought Esxi is free but keeps asking for license key…

I will work on it this week and keep you posted.

Thanks David, appreciate your time.

Prav 12.01.10 at 1:17 pm

Hi David,

I am kind of new to Virtualization but looking into your video I feel quite comfortable with Virtualization; it looks so easy and interesting. Appreciate your time on making this video.

Cheers !!

Seamus Dowling 12.22.10 at 11:24 am

Hi David.
Go is excellent. Just what I need to move existing 2003 server.
However, when I ‘Add New’ VM machine, if I select small medium or large, I CANNOT edit the disk size. This is a real problem, as my existing is much larger than 100gig. (There is no scroll/drop down box at ‘disk size’.
In your video, you had that option.
Appreciate any help or pointers
Thank you
Seamus Dowling

All_that_is 07.05.11 at 9:40 am

Great Video, Great David !! Many thanks!

Giorgi T. 08.07.11 at 6:33 am

Hi David,

Please help me clarify one confusing issue about this presentation video. The Windows system you are using for the demo (the one running Internet Explorer), is it a virtual machine running on top of ESXi? Otherwise, how did you manage to run both ESXi and the non-virtual Windows OS at the same time, on the same machine (localhost). As I understand, ESXi is a bear metal installation that will need to erase whatever OS it finds on the physical server (no meter it’s a Windows Server or some variety of *nix) to install itself. Does it behave differently if it discovers an existing Windows Server installation on the machine it is being installed on? In other words, what I want to know is: what did you do to prepare this demo environment?

Thanks allot.

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