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HOWTO: Copy ISO Images to ESXi Server

The procedure to copy ISO Images/files to ESXi server is very similar to the method to copy VM images/files.

As you have probably already noticed ESXi has a very limited console interface.  Copying images and files to the server requires several steps:

Step 1: Turn on SSH

  1. First, login to console 1 :  (press ctrl-alt-f1)
  2. Type in: “unsupported” and press enter.
  3. You should now see a warning from the VMWare technical support team.
  4. Login as root and enter your root password.
  5. you should now have a root linux hash ( #   )
  6. Edit /etc/inetd.conf  using vi editor (vi /etc/inetd.conf)
  7. Scroll down until you see the ssh section and remove the comments in front of ssh (remove the # signs. You may have to hit i to enter insert mode.  esc will get you out of insert mode. )
  8. Save the file (Shift-ZZ)
  9. and finally, reboot (init 6)

You have now sucessfully enabled ssh.

Step 2: Download WinSCP

In order to upload (or download) images/files from your ESXi server you will an ssh file transfer client such as winSCP. After you have downloaded it, install it and connect to your server.

For those of you not familiar with SCP, the protocol basically acts like a secure FTP client allowing for file trasfers using a encrypted tunnel.

Step 3: Upload your image/files to ESXi

Now that you have connected, you will need to navigate to your data store:

/vmfs/volumes/DATASTOREGUID (it’s a long string of numbers)/

after dragging your file to the correct datastore, you will find it now shows up in ESXi’s infrastructure console.

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