In a nutshell, whichever way we use to install ESXi, eventually we will end-up with three known installation types:

  1. Installable – installed on physical, local disks
  2. Embedded – installed on locally attached, non-persistent storage (USB/SD)
  3. PXE – automatic deployment by using the Auto-Deploy feature

Once ESXi has been installed, it actually runs from memory – which, by the way, it is really cool … and fast! So really, the local/remote storage is only going to be used during the booting process.

You could have a case whereby you need to find out what was the installation type used … So how do you find out?

It is actually quite simple – the esxcfg-info command comes handy in that case. In fact, you could use it to get all sorts of information:



The one option we need here is -e / –boottype.

So let’s run this command on my physical ESXi host, then on on of the virtual host …

screenshot252 screenshot253

Possible output of the command:

  • boot type: visor-usb – Embedded installation
  • boot type: visor-thin – Intallable installation
  • boot type: visor-pxe – PXE installation
Notice how the virtual host is seen as installable – this is because, although it sits on a .vmdk file located on a storage available to the physical host, the virtual host itself has no idea that this is the case – same as how a Windows VM sees it’s local disks.

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Thank you,
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