There's been a lot of hype/talk about Windows 8 and if you wanted to test drive the new OS, you might consider using the latest release of VMware Fusion 4.0.1 or VMware Workstation 8 as Windows 8 is an officially supported guestOS. Though what if you wanted to run it in your vSphere 5 environment? Well you can with a small hack.
Even though it's not listed as a supported guestOS, you can manually tweak the .vmx configuration to get ESXi 5 host to recognize the guestOS type. You just need to create a generic Windows 2008 system and then from the commandline or by exporting the .vmx using the datastore browser and then edit the configuration file. You will need to make the following change to the guestOS paramater:
guestOS = "windows8srv-32"
guestOS = "windows8srv-64"
One you have made this change, you will need to re-register the virtual machine or reload the configuration using vim-cmd vmsvc/reload operation.
Another method just using the vSphere Client without any modifications to the .vmx is to just create a virtual machine and select any guestOS type. Once the virtual machine has been created, there is actually an option in the guestOS to select Windows 8 32 or 64bit that can be selected. If you wish to automate through the commandline, then you can use the method above or you can just use the vSphere Client.
Note: This is not officially supported from VMware of course, use at your own risk.
UPDATE1: It looks like when Windows 8 64bit is booting up for installation, the virtual machine core dumps with the following error:
vcpu-0| MONITOR PANIC: vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1804
Something similar occurs with Windows 8 32bit that gets past the panic but an error message is thrown on the screen regarding HAL initialization failure. Currently there are no workarounds and I've reached out to some of the folks at VMware to see if there's any tweaks that can be made to support this. As I mentioned earlier, this is an unsupported OS/hack, so it may not work at all. Sorry to get everyone's hope up, the new Fusion 4.01 and Workstation 8 might still be your best bet to test out the new Windows 8.
UPDATE2: VMware has released a KB article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2006859 regarding Windows 8 and vSphere 5 support. You can subscribe to the KB article for the latest update on running Windows 8 on ESXi 5.
UPDATE3: I recently saw a tweet by Raphael Schitz and it looks like you actually CAN run Windows 8 on ESXi 5. Raphael was able to run Windows 8 by first running Xenserver as a virtual machine and then creating a Windows 8 VM that would run as a nested guestOS within Xenserver virtual machine (pESXi 5 -> Xenserver VM -> Windows 8 VM).
Note: You may need to reboot the system one additional time if it does not automatically load.
Here is a screen shot of Windows 8 64bit running on the latest release of Xenserver 6 running on ESXi 5:
Mark and Katie says
Any luck on 4.1? I am using vmware view and until view 5 is released. I can't upgrade to esxi 5.
This isn't working for me, still having the ACPI 2.0 error when starting it up. from the vm log:
MONITOR PANIC: vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1804
You even do not have to edit the .vmx manually, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server are already in the drop down list (but oddly NOT when creating the VM in the first place... but later when editing it). It's embarassing for VMware that this doesn't work... VirtualBox works.
Btw, the ACPI 2.0 standard is from 2000! ACPI 3.0 was defined 2003...
VCP #20255 says
@mmageek - same error -
@william - how'd you get around this? - thanks:
2011-09-14T17:58:45.850Z| vcpu-0| [msg.log.monpanic] *** VMware ESX internal monitor error ***
2011-09-14T17:58:45.850Z| vcpu-0| --> vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1803
Yeah no go on this end either. Would you mind sharing exactly how you got it to work - maybe missing a step here
Jason Vallery says
No go with either the 32 bit or 64 bit version on ESXi 5.0. Still in the dark....
This comment has been removed by the author.
just google it. the link is listed in EVERY article talking about the beta...or try this http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516
Jason Ruiz says
FYI, Server 8 is listed in the guest pull down after you set it up, just like ESXi and OSX.
ESXi 5 shows Windows 8 32-bit & 64-bit options after you set Windows 8 Virtual Machine on ESXi 5. But While booting it fails with blue screen of death for windows 8 32-bit & with "vcpu-0| MONITOR PANIC: vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED " error for Windows 8 64bit..
Take a look at UPDATE3 as "way" for now to run Windows 8 on ESXi 5 which requires the use of Xenserver as VM
Build 702118 actually list Windows 8 options both when creating VM and when editing after the fact. The previous build I had did not (don't remember the number, but it was the ISO I initially setup my server with).
With my old build, I would get hal_initialization_error.
With my newest build, the install completes, but it goes to a black screen with "Windows" and a spinner graphic indefinitely (hours).
Here are my "from scratch" instructions using ESXi 5.0.0 build 702118 with 32-bit Windows 8 ISO. My last try was a 64-bit, which just game me the spinning graphic when trying to boot it. This crap has been punking me all day long.
(1) Create a new VM with Custom settings
(2) Leave VM version set to 8
(3) Pick Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit) for Guest operating system
(4) Set number of cores per virtual to 4
(5) Set memory size to 4 GB
(6) Leave NIC set to E1000E
(7) Leave SCSI controller set to LSI Logic SAS
(8) Set disk size to 200GB
(9) Pick IDE (0:0)
(10) Edit VM and set cd/dvd to Datastore ISO file for the win 8 32-bit ISO you uploaded and check off "Connect at power on"
(11) Delete the floppy drive
(12) Boot it and put in your key
Feel free to change it up as you see fit, but this is exactly what I did, and right now, it is working as it should.
If you have Patch02, then it's pretty straight forward install. Take a look at the updated article here - http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2012/02/how-to-run-windows-8-consumer-preview.html
Note: It's also the same instructions for installing the recent release of Windows 8 Preview Release as well as Windows 8 Server RC (Windows Server 2012)
Wow, this tile crap just sucks. Where the F is the start menu? Can this be any more obtuse?
the Windows key is "Key" 🙂