This Guide assumes you are using the latest (as of this writing, ESXi 6.7) host client on a free install of ESXi, not the VSphere client. Options may be slightly different for that client.
Download Alpine and upload to a reachable Datastore
For this guide, I used the latest Virtual Images, which at the time was, 3.10.2
Create VM Options
- Name: Choose any name you like
- Compatibility: Linux
- Guest OS Version: Select Other 5.x or later Linux (64-bit) if you downloaded the x86_64 Alpine-ISO, or Other 5.x or later Linux (32-bit) if you downloaded the x86 Alpine-ISO.
Edit VM Settings once Created
The default alpine linux iso images only boot from bios, not the ESXi default of UEFI for Linux 4.0+ hosts. To get around this limitation, you have three options:
- Change the VM to use Bios Boot
- Make sure the VM is powered off. (If it is on, you will not be able to change boot options, and your save will fail.)
- Right click on the VM, and select Edit Settings
- Select VM Options
- Under Boot Options > Firmware, select bios
- Click save.
- You could create a new ISO image following the Create UEFI secureboot USB guide (outside the scope of this guide)
- You can change the VM Compatability options to Other Linux (64-bit) but you loose the VMXNET and SR-IOV Passthrough NIC options (helpful for a virtualized firewall) and are limited to the E1000 NIC driver which has been known to drop network connectivity.
Install Alpine Linux. I used the default setup-alpine script
Install and enable Open-VM-Tools
- Enable the Community repo
using root/sudo/wheel privileges, edit /etc/apk/repos and un-comment the community repo
- Start, and enable at boot. As of this writing the open-rc scripts are included in the base open-vm-tools package instead of a separate -openrc package.