Nesting ESXi on Nutanix AHV

In this short blog I will be showing how to nest VMware vSphere ESXi on Nutanix AHV. At this point you may be asking a fairly obvious question…”Ummm, why?”. This will become clearer in a follow up blog post on using nested ESXi as a 1-step migration path to use vConverter for a physical to virtual migration straight to Nutanix AHV.


  • ESXi installation ISO loaded into the AHV Image Service

Step One: Create ESXi VM on Nutanix AHV

1) First login to Prism Element or Prism Central and go to the VM page then hit + Create VM

2) Supply the following

  • Name
  • vCPU=4
  • Mem=8
  • Storage
    • CDROM
      • Clone from image service=ESXi ISO
    • Disk 1
      • Purpose: Disk for ESXi install
      • Type=Disk
      • Operation=Allocate on Storage Container
      • Container=<choose your container>
      • Size=8GB
      • Index=Next Available
  • Network Adapter

Click SAVE

3) Now we need to enable CPU passthrough and add an E1000 type NIC

vm.nic_create ESXi model=e1000 network=vlan0

vm.update ESXi cpu_passthrough=true

vm.on ESXi

Step Two: Install ESXi

1) Open the VM Console for you ESXi VM from the VM page, select your VM, and click Launch Console

2) Allow ESXi to load and hit Enter to continue once the below screen appears

3). Hit F11 to accept

4). Select the Storage Device – It should be the 8GB disk that we added when the VM was created. Hit Enter

5). Select Keyboard layout. Hit Enter

6). Enter your password and hit Enter

7). If you get an unsupported device message hit Enter to continue

8). Press F11 to install

9.) Once complete hit Enter to reboot. The installation media will automatically be detached on reboot

10.) Once booted you should see the following screen

11). Now login to validate everything looks good and your done!

Share with the world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *