It looks like VMware has been hard at work to get support for Windows 8 running on the vSphere 5 platform and I recently got a tidbit that the issue was resolved in a recent ESXi 5 patch. Make sure you keep this on the DL .... they maybe watching :-)
Disclaimer: VMware still does not officially support Windows 8 on vSphere, this is mainly for educational and testing purposes. Do not use this in a production environment
Here are the five easy steps to run Windows 8 on ESXi 5
- Download and install ESXi500-201112001 (patch02) from VMware patch repository.
- Create either a Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 regular VM (must be either of these guests)
- Edit your VM and under "Hardware->Video Card" enable 3D graphics support (this is required if you plan on running VMware Tools). You will also need to use e1000 network driver, VMXNET3 does not work
- Install Windows 8 using ISO
- Sit back and wait for the installation to complete.
Here are a few screenshots of Windows 8 running on ESXi 5
FYI - VMware does have a KB article regarding Windows 8 on vSphere which I hear will be updated very shortly. Be sure to follow it for the full details when it is updated.
UPDATE:If you decide to install VMware Tools (which you should always), after a reboot, you may notice the system just sitting on the splash screen and not allowing you to login. The fix is to enable 3D graphics support. Power down your Windows 8 VM and edit the settings under Hardware->Video Graphics and check the 3D box and then power back on your VM.