Over the years, there have been various Apple issues that have required different hacks/tweaks to get a stock ESXi image to install on an Apple Mac Mini. Even though the only officially supported Apple platform for ESXi is the Apple Mac Pro, VMware Engineering, CPD and Hardware QE have been working hard to back porting as many of these "fixes/tweaks" to provide the best user experience possible for installing ESXi on non-supported Apple hardware. As you can imagine, the amount of work required to manage hardware on the official VMware HCL is no small task and then trying to back port non-supported platforms is even more challenging from a support standpoint.

The release of ESXi 6.0 is a significant release in my opinion as it contains the final few fixes that have plagued earlier version of the Mac Mini platform, especially starting with the Mac Mini 6,2 and greater models. I am please to announce that the stock ESXi 6.0 image now works on all Mac Mini platforms starting from 5,1 and newer as well as Mac Pro 6,1 platform and newer. There are no additional tweaks or custom ISOs that will be required for a fully functional ESXi installation with proper networking enabled. In fact, if you have a Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter connected to either a Mac Mini or Mac Pro, you will also notice that it is automatically recognized without any additional driver or tweaks to the driver map files.

Disclaimer: Running ESXi on an Apple Mac Mini is not officially supported by VMware, please use at your own risk

One caveat that I would like to highlight is for the recent 2014 Mac Mini 7,1 or newer models where the SATA HDD is not automatically detected due to a change in the disk model made by Apple. Unfortunately, due to the late release of the 2014 Mac Mini, the required PCI ID to recognize the drive could not be added to the stock image of ESXi 6.0. Luckily, the resolution is quite easy and you can download and apply this custom VIB to get the SATA HDD recognized. I have been told that the plan is to get this fix in the next update/patch release so hopefully in the near future, no additional tweaks are required ... unless Apple decides to change something on us again ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are screenshots of running ESXi 6.0 on both the Apple Mac Mini and Mac Pro:


143 thoughts on “ESXi 6.0 works OOTB for Apple Mac Mini & Mac Pro

  1. Great news.

    I have recently dipped my toe in the ESXi water using a MacPro6,1. I’ve currently got 3 Windows and 1 OS X VM all sitting on the 1TB internal SSD. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how straight forward things have been. I don’t think I’ll ever need more than a handful of VMs so ESXi is probably a good bet.

    I do have a question about management. I’m using Fusion 7 Pro to upload and connect to the VM’s but how do I manage things like shutting down or restarting ESXi, enabling drag and drop and or cut and paste on the VMs?

    I’ve tried the vSphere Client on a Windows VM but it’s quite old and lacks a lot of the functionality that’s in the vSphere Web Client. The web client is relatively expensive for my home lab. Are there other options :

    1. Could I use Workstation? Does it have have more functionality than Fusion?
    2. Could I manage the ESXi machine via a command line tool and or edit the VM configuration files with a text editor?



    p.s. The Mac coverage on your blog was what gave me the push to try ESXi.

  2. Thanks for your great coverage of ESXi on Macs. I’d like to experiment with v6.0 of the free vSphere Hypervisor, but it seems that only v5.5 is being offered for download (even though I’ve seen references on blogs elsewhere to it being available). Do you know what the situation is? Was the free version of v6.0 pulled, or is its release pending or even forthcoming at all?

  3. Hi William! and Thank you for the good work!

    Since VMWare ESXi 6.0 is out. What vmware hardware version should we use to deploy our mac os x ? I tried with the lates Version 9 and everything works out of the box, but I was noticing issues (system report wont load) in the behaviour of the OS when you change the number of CPUs after the OS is installed. According http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2015/02/vsphere-6-clarifying-misinformation.html there is certain parameters that cannot be modied under vmware version 9. Should we stick to version 8 ?

    Many thanks

  4. Hi William,

    thank you for your excellent Blog and all the informations. After days of work i could not yet get any Mavericks or Yosemite up and running unter ESXi (vSphere) 6.0 on an Mac Pro 6,1.

    I am always getting: Attempting to start up from: -> EFI Virtual disk (0.0) … unsuccessful. -> EFI VMware Virtual SATA CDRAM Drive (IDE0.0) … unsuccessful

    I created that VM via Fusion 7.1.1 on am Mac Book Pro with “creating from recovery partition”, installed VMware tools and was able to perfectly boot and login. Then i copied this VM (of cource shutted down) with converter stand alone overt to the ESXi 6.0.0 host.

    Starting up there leads to that hang โ€ฆ I am going crazy. Help/hint would be highly appreciated.

  5. Hi William, Thanks for these great posts! 2 add my 5 cents, the old Mac Pro Version 3,1 (Early 2008) is also supported OOTB with no additional tweaks. Only the Apple RAID Card is not recognized, which was expected.

  6. Hi all
    I have downloaded and succesfully installed ESXi6 in my iMac Late 2009, as i am not using it anymore and with 16GB Ram makes the perfect candidate, but after a while, the whole system is hot like hell, it seems that fans are stopped. Looking from sphere client there is no temperature information, is there any way to control the fans or make sure my imac is not fried?

  7. Hello!
    Thx for great guides on your pages! Can I use mac mini 6.1 with esxi to run ipfire-linux firewall/router distro and mac os x yosemite server to serve my needs on my home network? Thx in advance! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi William, I just found out as follows:

    There is the following inconsistency in the VMware Compatibility Guide Matrix.

    -Mac OS 10.10.X (Yosemite) is only compatible with ESXi 6.0
    -ESXi 6.0 has no compatible Apple hardware

    Since I can run Mac OS virtual machines only on Apple hardware it means I can’t run Mac OS X 10.10.X anywhere at the moment.

    Can you please internally act to amend this situation which is very very inconsistent?

    I actually run Mac OS X 10.10.X with any issue on ESXi 5.5 but it’s an unsupported configuration as per VMware documentation.

    Thank you.

    • The Mac Pro 6,1 & 5,1 is certified for ESXi 6.0 but it looks like it wasn’t added to the VMware HCL. I was told it should be updated in the next couple of days, so check back then but you’re good as long as you’re using those two hardware platforms.

      • Thanks for your quick response William. Is also the other way round true? i.e.: is MacOSX 10.10.X (Yosemite) supported on ESXi 5.5? It works just fine in my farm but this combination doesn’t appear on the HCL. Thanks again.

      • They have now fixed the HCL and ESXi 6.0 is officially supported on the new MacPros 6,1.

  9. Is there any word on updated tools for OS X running on ESXi 6. Looks like you still have video issues and are limited to the 1024 x 768 resolution?

  10. There are new tools but they defiantly don’t work well with a Mac mini in Yosemite – not sure if its better on a Mac Pro. I’m just really surprised that VMware seems to be keeping up with the Mac yet failed miserably with Yosemite and ESXi 6. Being that they now seem to include all the drivers for all the mini’s, including thunderbolt ethernet. You have to wonder whats going on. And at this point – why not support the mini? Its an amazing device for test labs and even small business.

  11. so under esx 6 with my macpro darth vader edition I could have 8 nics If I want ? (6thunderbolt and 2 native)

  12. I can’t get ESXi 6.0 to recognize the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter on my Mac Mini 5,1. I have tried several times and even tried manually applying the “old” vib. Any thoughts or advice or help is greatly appreciated!

    [[email protected]:~] esxcli hardware platform get
    Platform Information
    UUID: 0x36 0xa 0xd6 0xab 0xc5 0xc7 0xf8 0x56 0x8c 0xa5 0x86 0xa0 0xfd 0x8e 0x94 0xcd
    Product Name: Macmini5,1
    Vendor Name: Apple Inc.
    Serial Number: C07GMJEWDJD0
    IPMI Supported: false
    [[email protected]:~] esxcli network nic list
    Name PCI Device Driver Admin Status Link Status Speed Duplex MAC Address MTU Description
    —— ———— —— ———— ———– —– —— —————– —- ——————————————————–
    vmnic0 0000:02:00.0 tg3 Up Up 1000 Full 3c:07:54:48:9a:26 1500 Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57765 Gigabit Ethernet
    [[email protected]:~] esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vghetto-apple-thunderbolder-ethernet.vib -f
    Installation Result
    Message: Operation finished successfully.
    Reboot Required: false
    VIBs Installed: virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-apple-thunderbolt-ethernet_5.5.0-0.0.1
    VIBs Removed:
    VIBs Skipped:
    [[email protected]:~] esxcli network nic list
    Name PCI Device Driver Admin Status Link Status Speed Duplex MAC Address MTU Description
    —— ———— —— ———— ———– —– —— —————– —- ——————————————————–
    vmnic0 0000:02:00.0 tg3 Up Up 1000 Full 3c:07:54:48:9a:26 1500 Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57765 Gigabit Ethernet
    [[email protected]:~]

  13. Hi William, I gave ESXi a try for the first time a few months ago and installed your custom ESXi 5.5 Update 2 ISO on my 2012 Mac Mini server. ESXi has been great! I especially like being able run ESXi on Macs. Now that ESXi 6.0 is out I want to upgrade. Would you recommend to upgrade via a clean install of ESXi 6.0? Or is it okay to upgrade from within the ESXi 6.0 installer? Thanks.


    • Mike – beware when moving to ESXi 6. OS X Yosemite only shows 1024 x 768 resolution and the performance takes a big hit. I’ve been dealing with this now for a few weeks with little to no real solution to the issue.

      • Thanks for the heads up Scott. At this time I am only running Linux VM’s (without a GUI) on my ESXi installation.

    • Upgrading is perfectly fine, I don’t see a reason you would need to perform a fresh install. In fact, for my Mac Mini 5,3 it was an upgrade from 5.5 to 6.0 and didn’t run into any issues.

  14. Hey William, wanted to let you know that ESXi 6.0 will also work OOTB on MacMini 4,1 as well. I have a 2010 unibody MacMini with a Core 2 Duo CPU and everything works from a clean install.


    • Hello , i would like to ask some questions , i have a macmini 4,1 and i want to install esxi 6 to run vms on it ,1st you just downloaded the image file and burned it on a usb (using unebootin for example) ?
      and everthing works fine ? networking / disk e.t.c. ?

    • I tried to install to macmini mid 2010 with a core 2 duo but it fails , on boot it gives the error “page tables relocation error: out of safe memory”

    • Yes i confirm that ESxi 6.0 works OOTB on MacMini 4,1 , the only problem that may have is if your MacMini has less than 4GB Ram ( Mine has 4GB Ram – and was readable only 3.7GB that’s why i had an error , i installed 2 more GB and problem solved.)

    • tot3nkopf – about an hour after my post [above] I successfully installed ESXi 6.0 on my Mac Mini 5,1 to recognize both the onboard NIC and the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. Plug ethernet cables into BOTH NICs and validate you have link light status [on your switch] for both NICs before installation then it should work.

  15. I have a Mac Mini 5.3 and a Mac Mini 6.2. For both the Thunderbolt was not recognized during or after the installation.
    On both the embedded NIC was not connected and the thunderbolt was connected to the network during installations.

    I think the connection to the network of the Thunderbolt to the network should make no difference.

  16. I’m having an issue where a mac mini 6,2 running esxi 6.0 will lose connection to a datastore. When I reboot the storage device is no long recognized. To fix this I have to physically remove the power and re attached. The storage device is again detected once this is performed. Anyone have any ideas what might be causing this?

  17. Hey. Do you know if the Apple RAID card that was shipped with some XServe and MacPro is seen ? I heard it wasn’t in 5.5. I don’t think they added this in 6.0, specially it was only shipped on unsupported hardware, but who knows ?

  18. Somewhat new to the OSX and Mac components but wondering how folks are installing ESX6 on MacBook Pro? I have one sitting here and would like to get 6.0 down on it for a few weeks of testing… thanks

  19. Is the SD card slot on the Mac Mini 6,2 recognized in ESXi 6.0? SD card is a perfect medium to run ESXi from, so I’m really hoping this slot can finally be utilized for running ESXi on Mac Mini 6,2

      • That’s a shame: my 2012 mini can boot from SD card, but ESXi can’t see it. It would be awesome if there was a VIB hack for this as we used to use for Thunderbolt Ethernet.

  20. Esxi 6.0 installed flawlessly on my 2008 Xserve server (8 cores and 32 GB RAM) ! However, OSX flavors either from DVD or .ISO do not want to install, even though I am using Apple hardware. Following VMware’s instructions simply do not work http://partnerweb.vmware.com/GOSIG/MacOSX_10_10.html (but also tried 10.6.7 and Snow Leopard from Apple DVD)
    Has anyone experienced this? Is there a work around?

    • What i’ve done is create an ISO from the Yosemite Installer and copied that to the datastore. Created a new virtual machine and mounted the ISO through the CD player. Powered on the virtual machine and it starts with the installer. Now first you have to format or erase your harddisk, after that you can install Yosemite or Mavericks.

      Below you’ll find the script for creating the Yosemite ISO :

      First re-download, if you do not have it, Yosemite/Mavericks from the appstore.
      (If you need a Mavericks ISO, the only thing you need to replace is the word Yosemite with Mavericks)

      Open terminal and follow the steps below :

      # Mount the installer image
      hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

      # Convert the boot image to a sparse bundle
      hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

      # Increase the sparse bundle capacity to accommodate the packages
      hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

      # Mount the sparse bundle for package addition
      hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

      # Remove Package link and replace with actual files
      rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages
      cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

      # Unmount the installer image
      hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

      # Unmount the sparse bundle
      hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

      # Resize the partition in the sparse bundle to remove any free space
      hdiutil resize -size hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

      # Convert the sparse bundle to ISO/CD master
      hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

      # Remove the sparse bundle
      rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

      # Rename the ISO and move it to the desktop
      mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso

  21. The EXSi 6.0.0 installer won’t detect the 1TB SSD in my MacPro6,1. It’ll detect external media just fine though.

      • I also have this issue on new Mac Pros

        Looks like Apple have updated the BIOS and ESXi doesn’t like it

        Running ‘esxcli hardware pci list’ shows that the SSD controller doesn’t look as it should

        This is how it looks on a working MacPro and one with the issue:


          • Already on it, not much progress as of yet but will update when we get somewhere with it

        • Thank you for the info, my MacPro also has the newer BIOS version. I guess I’m out of luck till ESXi 6.0.1?

          BIOS Info: #15
          Size: 0x00018
          Vendor: “Apple Inc.”
          Version: “MP61.88Z.0116.B14.1505141127”

          • Hi Jeff,

            I would also recommend you file an SR w/VMware GSS, they’ll be able to get Engineers involved to see what’s required to get ESXi 6.x running. It could be minor tweak

      • How do load the VIB after the install if you cannot see a disk to install in the first place? I have done a workaround, inserted a 64GB USB flash drive and installed ESX6.0 there. Then boot from that and loaded the VIB but i’d like to get the install on the internal SSD.

        • You would need to create a custom ISO using either VMware’s Image Builder tool or ESXi Customizer Community tool to have the VIB bundled into the ISO so you can select the internal disk to install

        • Is this for the mini or the Pro?

          I just tried installing 6.0.0.b on a brand new Mac Pro 6.1. There isn’t a SSD HDD drivers. I tried adding the Mac mini vib but that didn’t work. I see references here to “the Vib” but I am not sure which one you are referring to.

          I installed to a 8GB flash drive and mounted a NFS volume for now but I really want to use the internal SSD too.

          Now to make a OS ISO.

          • Same issues experienced here. After spending a full day on it, this is the only thing I was able to come up with as well. Using the internal SSD was what I wanted to do. I will have to use NFS until VMware comes out with a fix. This is disappointing.

            Right now the Bios version on mine is MP61.0116.B14

          • Thanks for checking the VIB and filing the SR. It’s possible that new disks are being used which isn’t covered in the VIB that I created. Can you provide me with the SR #?

          • SR 15710607607. I am happy to give you anything you need of my Mac Pro. Heck, you can come over and look at it for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Thanks for sharing your findings. I’ve also shared this internally and we have a PR opened for this case. For others that’s interested, please file an SR and ask the GSS Engineers to add the case to PR 1487494. I’ll post an update as I hear more

          • How do you install the VIB so the installer can use it? Did you use the image builder? That looks like a painful process.

          • I used the offline driver and image builder following half a dozen slightly different VMware KB articles. Everything looks like it should according to the KB but the SSD is not detected by the installer. I am surprised there is not an option to add a driver during install. I gave it a strong effort though.

            I was able to add the VIB to the instance running from the external thumb drive. I can see and use the SSD but it is not a production option.

            I added a note to my open SR to PR 1487494.

            Thanks William for your driving efforts.

          • The fix Mr.Spock mentioned worked for me. I’ve got ESXi up on my MacPro with the internal SSD. Thank you!

  22. Hi, thanks for the great post. I tried installing esx 6.0 on my mac mini server (5.3) but after the installation it isn’t finding any boot devices. I tried installing on both harddrives of the mac with the same result. Am i missing something?

  23. I have a question , if its possible with esxi 6.0 for mac pro to passthrough ( vt-d enabled) one of amd firepro videocars ? thank’s!

    • I have no luck with my FirePro D700 either. Would appreciate someone who has experience with the FirePro D series for the esxi.

    • It doesn’t seem so. We looked into it and a damn good engineer of ours named Darius spent a while messing with it but just couldn’t get it to play nice. At one point he said “There is a megaton of proprietary goo” in the firmware around the GPUs and given the Mac Pro’s unusual configuration combined with Apple’s ‘unique’ approach to firmware I’m not surprised.

      P.S. We do see the value in this setup and it’s something we would really like to offer too, it’s just too hard without more cooperation from Apple to help us dig into their firmware which you can imagine is quite hard to get.

  24. I have mac pro 6.1 and when i trying to install esxi 6.0 it is not recognized internal hdd
    I see before that compatible mac pro bios should be exactly MP61.88Z.0116.B05.1402141115
    The problem is that i can not find how to downgrade it to this exact version.
    I have osx 10.10.4 installed with more newly bios version and probably this is my problem .
    Has any one else have such problem ???

  25. Thanks all . Finally i make it up and running by creating custom esxi iso with Andreas ESXi Customizer tool and sata-xahci vib offline bundle .

  26. Just thought you might like to know I have just finished installing ESXi 6.0 on my Mac Pro 1,1. Found all 4 disks plus 2 internal NICs and to extra HP ones.

  27. Got ESXI 6.0 on Mac Mini 6,2. Anyone know how to setup the USB and HDMI pass through? only Wi-Fi seems to work…

  28. Excellent post! It inspired me to acquire additional gear and build this myself. I already had a mac mini server 2011(macmini5,3) so I purchased 3 more, along with OWC flash drives for VSAN. I had it all up and running last night(ESXi6) running a couple small workloads, and after a few hours I had an alert that one of the HDD’s had failed. The VM’s were still functioning properly so I assumed VSAN was doing it’s job and decided to reboot the host with the failed drive to see what happens(it was late and motivation to spend more time looking at it was low). Not long after, the entire cluster wet the bed and all VM’s went offline. It was already very late and I didn’t have time to tshoot so it’s currently sitting dead with no functional datastore. I’ll have some time tonight to dig in once I get home. My only real question here is whether this could be related to the original AHCI issues? The only logs prior to the issue were related to the storage devices not in the HCL.

  29. Back in July, I created a custom esxi iso with andreas ESXi customizer tool and sata-xahci vib offline bundle. I was able to install to the SSD OK but each time the Mac Pro is rebooted, the ESXi OS is corrupt and hangs loading something. Re-install/in place upgrade does not solve it, it has to be a new install. After three occurrences, I deemed the platform/driver unreliable and have to wait for an official VMware released version. I am sitting on an $8,000 brick for now.

    • I think this is only partly true, if you put the machine in maintenance mode and reboot it works, at least that did it for me, i had the same issue

  30. Hi William – thanks for sharing your knowledge. have you or anyone here tested esx 6.x with MacPro 4,1 (early 2009) ? I am planning to get one and max it to 64Gb with dual cpu (8 core). – thanks

  31. Could someone point me in the right direction? I have a MAC Mini and I have ESXi 6.0 iso downloaded. I don’t have a DVD drive. Could someone point me in the right direction to make a USB key bootable to install ESXi 6.0 on the MAC mini? I tried with unetbootin but when it finishes it says that it will not boot on a MAC. Is that true? What do you guys use?

    Thanks so much…

    • Unetbootin is what I personally use and recommend. There’s plenty of other tools to make a bootable USB key from the ISO that you can probably Google for. When you boot up, you may need to hold down the “Command” button and you’ll be prompted to boot off of a device in case its set to boot from another device by default.

    • You have to format the USB key as FAT with a MBR partition scheme (you can do that by either Disk Utility or by the following command line : “diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 ESXIKEY MBR /dev/diskX” without quotes and with replacing X by the number for your USB key)
      Then you double-click on the ISO and drag all files from it to the USB key. And that’s it !

  32. I found a workaround for higher resolutions on esxi…its not much but better than the obnoxious 1024×786 its accomplised through i tool i got throug vmware support you can also have it directy from me it is called vmware-resolutionSet maybe you can also find it on the support site.

    • I believe the plan is to release vmware-resolutionSet utility as part of VMware Tools in a future release. For now, folks can definitely reach out to VMware Support for the standalone utility

  33. Upgraded two Mac Pro 3,1 (Early 2008) today from 5.5 to 6.0 via VUM. It said it was “non-complaint” but worked like a champ. Thanks for all the great info!

  34. On a 2TB Fusion hybrid drive, should I select disk to install ESXi 6 on the 113 GB SSD or the 1.8TB spinning disk? Or neither?

    I have a brand new Mac Mini (Late 2014) macmini7,1 with a 2TB Fusion hybrid drive.

    I am booting with an unmodified VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.0.0.update01-3029758.x86_64.iso

    I am stuck at the following screen:

    Select a Disk to Install or Upgrade
    ATA APPLE HDD ST2000 (t10.ATA____APPLE_HDD_ST2…) 1.82 TiB
    ATA APPLE SSD SM0128 (t10.ATA____APPLE_SSD_SM0…) 113.00 GiB

    Will installing ESXi to the SSD give my better performance and reliability and put the VMs on the spinning disk?

    Thanks in advance for any advice,


    • Still not sure where to install ESXi on the small SSD or large spinning part of the 2TB Fusion hybrid drive.

      To learn more about ESXi, I inserted a 2nd 16GB USB drive and installed ESXI 6 to it.

      VSphere displays local storage the same as ESXi installer did with two ATA disks, 1) 1.8TB HDD, 2) 113GB SSD

      My concern was could I brick my MacMini by installing ESXi to one disk or the other?

      The Mac Mini only sees one disk.

      Does ESXi need a driver installed to make the hybrid Fusion disk appear as one disk instead of two?

  35. Can someone point me to step by step directions to create a mac mini bootable USB stick with the ESXi 6 vmware iso on it? I see lots of partial descriptions and pointers to rufus or unetbootin but I must be missing something along the way, perhaps I’m not prepping the stick correctly before using inetbootin or setting a partition active, because I’m striking out.

    • As i wrote already earlier, it is simpler than it seems :

      “You have to format the USB key as FAT with a MBR partition scheme (you can do that by either Disk Utility or by the following command line : โ€œdiskutil eraseDisk FAT32 ESXIKEY MBR /dev/diskXโ€ without quotes and with replacing X by the number for your USB key)
      Then you double-click on the ISO and drag all files from it to the USB key. And thatโ€™s it !”

      • Thanks Jayce. I don’t know how I overlooked your earlier entry. I used your approach and it worked like a charm. Why would people use rufus or unetbootin when this can be accomplished so easily as you pointed out?

  36. I’ve got ESXi 6 running smoothly on my Mac Mini 6,2 which is serving as the host for the latest Vcenter Sphere appliance.

    I also set up an OS X 10.8.1 virtual machine on that host and it too is running smoothly.

    I’m wondering if I should tempt fate and upgrade to a more recent version of OS X but am not sure which if any of the more recent releases run reasonably well in ESXi 6. Your thoughts?

    • ESXi 6 supports OS X 10.10.4 with no known issues as far as I have seen. I am not sure about El Capitan.

      I run ESXi 6 on a Mac Mini (Late 2014), Model: Macmini7,1

      Take a snap-shot and give it a try. If it does not work, roll-back to snapshot.

      I do need to setup an OS X 10.11 El Capitan VM to verify that the software I develop runs on it. For a VM build machine I think I will stick with 10.10.4 for another 6 months or so.



      • I have tried every approach I could think of to update an existing install to El Capitan. Upgrading my old Snow Lion install to Yosemite was easy. Last night I found these instructions for creating an install image for El Capitan and it worked like a charm, so now I’m working with a fresh install of El Capitan. It shouldn’t have been this hard! Kudos to the kind soul who posted the instructions found at http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/308533-how-to-create-a-bootable-el-capitan-iso-fo-vmware/

        • That’s puzzling that an upgrade did not work.

          Thank you for sharing that a clean install of El Capitan works fine on ESXi 6. I was wondering if it would work or not.

          • I had a fresh install of OS X 10.8.1 and was unable to get the El Capitan upgrade to work — I must have tried a dozen times with slightly different approaches. The Yosemite upgrade worked fine. I was ready to give up when I stumbled on the instructions I linked to in my post above and things worked very well indeed. ESXi 6.0 update 1 running on a Mac Mini 6,2.

  37. Possible bug: I’m running macos 10.9.5 on ESXi 6.0 U1. If I expand the virtual disk size, I’m then unable to extend the macos partition. It doesn’t return any error, simply after clicking on “apply” it doesn’t do anything. I have created a SR with VMware and they said it’s an Apple issue. However it looks like this KB is appearing again http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2069255.

    Vmware support asked me to arrange a conference call with Apple but I don’t have any technical contact at Apple.

    Any chance you can help with this?

    Many thanks.


  38. Hi,

    Does anyone know if generic Gigabit Ethernet USB 3.0 Adapter can be used in this scenario? Something like Digitus Gigabit Ethernet USB 3.0 Adapter.


      • Sorry that was me signed in as a client, forgot to sign out of wordpress.com. ESXi doesn’t recognise any USB Ethernet adapters but a Thunderbolt to Ethernet does work fine

        • ESXi doesn’t recognize the USB Ethernet adapters but I have had limited success getting one to pass through to a VM and use it there. I had it providing link to a DSL modem for Dual-WAN on a pfSense VM. I say limited because it has stopped working and no longer appears in the list of devices. Troubleshooting to commence.

  39. I have airbook 2012. bought fusion 8 pro. can’t installed ESXi6 or vCenter applienace. can any one help

  40. I wonder if you can point me to documentation to upgrade ESXi on a MacPro from v5.5 to the most current supported ESXi v6.x

  41. Hi to all, is it possible to activate Apple Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter on MAC Pro Modell 2015 in ESXi6.0 ??

  42. Awesome Blog and post, because of you i have converted my Mac mini to ESXI ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have one interesting observation on my MAC mini and that is CPU usage it is spiking quite high when I run OSX 10.10.4 VM, its more out of the blue with almost no VM usage, means running idle, all this is causing fan spinning quite loud.. I have installed VMWare tools and MAC mini has only OSX VM on itself.

    I have another MAC mini running HYPER-V with 3 VM’s no issues, previously i have run Hyper-V on problematic MAC and i didn’t have any issues.

    Does anyone has any clue ?

    ESXi Server is late 2011, i7, 16gb ram, 240gb SSD, 1tb normal HDD.

  43. I upgraded our setup to ESXI 6.0 after seeing this post and got my Mac VMs up and running. The problem I keep seeing is that CPU usage spikes to 100% and the whole VM locks up and is unusable. Has anyone else seen this problem? Our setup is the following:

    Mac Mini 6.24
    CPUsx 2.294 GHz
    Intel i7 @ 2.30 GHz
    16 GB of RAM

    Each VM is given 1 core and 4 GB of RAM.

    We had a ESXI 5.5 setup running before (though you couldn’t do anything advanced like clone VMs or take snapshots) on the same mac mini and did not have any locking up problems.

  44. Twice power-outages have corrupted *all* running VMs on a Mac Mini (Late 2014) (A1347, Macmini7,1, i7, 16GB RAM ). All VMs were located on the spinning disk partition of a 2TB fusion disk / ssd hybrid.

    ESXi was booted and running off a USB thumb drive since I could never get a SD card to work. Since then I have been running VMs on a cheap & slow Synology DS215j NAS and have no corrupted vms so far, But I also have a UPS properly configured now to shut down the Mac Mini.

    Is this VM corruption just the way the ESXi 6.0 file system works on power outage? No journalling – if lose power, then you are out-of-luck?

    Could it be something to do with the 2TB fusion disk / ssd hybrid disk?

    Any thoughts are appreciated.


  45. Does anyone found a hack for a VMXNet3 Adapter in a OSX VM? I need that 10GB for my OSX Deployment VM ๐Ÿ˜‰

    best regards,

  46. I have ESXi 6.0 running OOTB on my MacBook Pro 15″ 2011. Quad-core i7, 16GB of RAM, running a single VM for Cisco CUCM (VoIP is my jam). The only “problem” I have is that the screen is always on. Is there any parameter I can tweak to enable to screen to go blank with no backlight?

  47. Hi All,

    I just got a new Mac Pro 6,1 in today and I am trying to install ESX 6.5 or 6.0 on it. Each time the install hangs at “Initializing ACPI”. The Mac Pro already came with OSX 10.12 on it, so the previous fix of installing Yosemite is not applicable. Any ideas?

    Thank you all for your time.

    • I just got a response from vmware support that the Mac Pro 6,1 will not be supported past 6.0u2 – evidently they are de-supporting apple hardware for vsphere 6.5 and beyond. Love to hear the details from others… I guess it will not be legal to virtualize OSX anymore as this required underlying Apple hardware to be legal…;-)

      As far as 6.0U2, I have three Mac Pro 6,1 running it – so it is possible…

      I found these instructions lurking on the web… “ESXi 5.5 uses a GPT partition table by default which requires an UEFI boot mode to boot from. However, as pointed out above, ESXi hangs on first boot after the installation during ‘initializing ACPI’ when booting from certain UEFI bioses. As a workaround you can force ESXi to use a MBR partition table. During setup (after the blue screen where you can choose ehat Edition of ESXi you want to install) you can press ctrl+o to edit the boot options. Append a space and the option ‘formatwithmbr’ and press enter (so the complete boot option reads ‘runweasel formatwithmbr’). The MBR partition table enables legacy bioses to boot from this disk.”

  48. Hi William! Do you have tried mac pro 6,2 usb or gpu directPath to virtual machine ESXI 6.0 OR 6.5?

  49. It was from reading on here about vmware ESXi compatibility some time ago that I decided to buy a Mac Mini late 2012 model to get set up with a home lab. I’m about to upgrade from 6.0 to 6.5 very soon as the Mac is remote to where I am now and I’ll be going out to it in the week. I’ve been looking at GPU passthrough of the Intel 4000 HD Graphics card, enabled it in the web client, allocated device to VM, got the driver installed in a VM, ensured all RAM allocated is locked to that one VM. Device shows in device manager but it does not seem to utilize the GPU. I bought a fit-headless thinking something must be attached to the hdmi port for it to work but does not seem to make any difference. Can anyone advise if this should work or not?

  50. If you are trying to re-install ESXi on a Mac using a bootable CD/DVD, but it won’t load, try booting to an OS X recovery USB. Go to the Apple menu and select Startup Disk. You should be able to select your CD/DVD in there. If it gives you a warning saying the startup disk hasn’t been blessed, use the recovery USB to go to Disk Utility and reformat the internal drive to Master Boot Record, and FAT. Then reboot, and hold option – your boot disk should become available. Hopefully this saves some time for someone ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. Hello,

    Hopefully you can help me. I was messing around with the esx.conf file (/etc/vmware/esx.conf) on my lab (small PC) running ESXi 6.5 and now Hypervisor does not boot at all. I know exactly which line I have to revert back to original. My lab PC is a single SSD hard drive, nothing fancy.

    Luckily, I have an external hard drive with ESXi 6.5 (configured and operational) and I’m able to boot from that external hard drive and use the CLI. How can I access the SSD hard drive, navigate to the esx.conf (of the SSD HD) and vi the file that I changed earlier? I know how to use vi, question is how do I get to that esx.conf file that is corrupted?

    Does that make sense? I really don’t want to blow the entire lab ESXi away and start again; it took me sometime to install and get all the VMs configured correctly.

    Thanks in advance for the assistance.

  52. Hi all,

    So I managed to get my hands on an older firmware version compatible with ESXi and vSphere as per HCL. It seems that 6.5u1 does not detect the Thunderbolt to Gigabit adapters. See below

    [[email protected]:~] esxcli hardware platform get
    Platform Information
    UUID: 0x74 0x8d 0xa 0x29 0x9b 0x8a 0x3d 0x57 0x83 0x39 0x72 0x53 0x65 0x2a 0xe9 0xcc
    Product Name: MacPro6,1
    Vendor Name: Apple Inc.
    Serial Number: F5KR40******
    IPMI Supported: false
    [[email protected]:~] esxcli network nic list
    Name PCI Device Driver Admin Status Link Status Speed Duplex MAC Address MTU Description
    —— ———— —— ———— ———– —– —— —————– —- ——————————————————–
    vmnic0 0000:0b:00.0 tg3 Up Up 1000 Full 00:3e:e1:c8:98:06 9000 Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet
    vmnic1 0000:0c:00.0 tg3 Up Up 1000 Full 00:3e:e1:c8:98:05 9000 Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet

    Can your custom VIB be used with 6.5u1 and I thought this issue was resolved with 6.0?

    I cannot locate where it has been depricated so I’m a little baffled. I actually needed this to test an RHEL 7.4 guest that sees the vNIC but cannot get an IP from the single vSwitch0 that all other guests are able to use with onboard pNIC. I wouldn’t think we would need anything from Apple (as I know they are mum on most topics with SE) since we are using the same hardware and specs that they have already provided.

    Does anyone have any suggestions here to what to do to get these adapters functional or are we at the end of the line for all Apple devices (I have an older MacMini and older release of ESXi but they are useless because they do not support ECC memory, do not support more that 16GB and moreover do not have 12 core Xeon CPU which is needed by my workload)?

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