How to install ESXi on an Intel NUC (video)

Running a home lab with ESXi doesn’t require a big heavy server that consumes a lot of power. I wanted to build a lab machine that could be portable so I could take it along with me if I’m traveling. Fortunately, this machine also is tiny and consumes with very little power.

Here are the details for the NUC:
The Intel NUC is an awesome little PC with a tiny form factor and small power footprint. You can use this for a great media player, desktop, or even a server! I will be using it as an ESXi server.

Here’s the list of components that I bought to build it:
D54250WYKH (Core i5 with 2.5″ slot) – $ 350
Crucial 16GB Kit (2x 8GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz – $ 160
Samsung 250GB mSATA SSD – $ 150 – Fast storage for quick deployment, swap space, temp files, etc.
Seagate 1TB Hybrid SSD – $ 100 – Slower storage to store other VMs that will have a lot of data at rest. Since it’s a Hybrid disk, chances are, the active data will be on the SSD portion of the disk.

So, I did a little bit of research when trying to figure out whether or not ESXi ran on the NUC. I read through a number of blog posts and the one that helped me was this one:
Here’s a shameless copy/paste of the resources required:
– ESXi 5.x U1 ISO image (from VMware downloads)
– ESXi-Customizer (ESXi-Customizer-v2.7.1.exe)
– Intel Driver (net-e1001e-1.0.0.x86_64.vib) (3rd Gen NUC)
– Intel Driver (net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib) (4th Gen NUC)
– SATA Controller (sata-xahci-1.10-1.x86_64.vib) (4th Gen NUC) from

Enjoy the video and please post comments!

How to build an Intel NUC in less than 10 minutes. (video)

I recently made a video building the Intel NUC. It was extremely easy to do and amazingly, it runs ESXi pretty well. Fully loaded, I gave it 16gb RAM, an SSD mSATA drive, and a hybrid laptop SATA drive.

Here’s the video and I hope you enjoy.