On this page you will find working “White Box” configurations for VMware ESX (3.0.x)

VMware ESX3 Server van jimmy:

Merk Type
Asus A8V-Deluxe
AMD64 3200+ Venice 939
4x 512MB White label
2x Gigabit NIC Intel 1000MT
Scsi Adaptec AHA-2940U
Scsi to Ide Converter Acard (http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/communitysupport/688)
IDE Hardisk 40GB Maxtor (with ACARD SCSItoIDE Adapter for SC and the VMFS volume)

VMware ESX3 Servers van afokkema:

Merk Type
Asus P4P800-Deluxe
Intel P4 3ghz Prescott
4x 1024MB Twinmos
1x Gigabit NIC Intel 1000MT dualport
1x 100 Megebit NIC 3com
Scsi Adaptec AHA-29160
Scsi to Ide Converter Acard (http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/communitysupport/688)
IDE Hardisk 40GB Maxtor (Service Console)
IDE Hardisk 120GB Maxtor (with ACARD SCSItoIDE Adapter for the VMFS volume)
Openfiler (iSCSI / NFS) 640GB iSCSI storage (for VMFS and EXT3 volumes)
Merk Type
MSI MS-6788
Intel P4 2.4ghz Northwood
2x 256MB 1x 512Mb Twinmos
1x Gigabit NIC Intel 82541PI
1x 100 Megebit NIC 3com 3C905TX
IDE Hardisk 40GB Maxtor (Service Console)
Openfiler (iSCSI / NFS) 640GB iSCSI storage (for VMFS and EXT3 volumes)

VMware ESX3 Server van Ryan Coates:

Merk Type
Asus V2-AH2 Barebone
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (AM2)
2x 1024MB (Ocz Platinium) DDR2 PC6400
1x Gigabit NIC 1000GT
Openfiler (iSCSI / NFS) ???GB iSCSI storage (for VMFS and EXT3 volumes)

Linkt to his blog: http://coatsy.blogspot.com

VMware ESX3 Server van jainoxi:

Merk Type
Asus P5M2/SAS
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
2x 1024MB DDR2 PC5300 CL5
2x Gigabit NIC Onboard
SAS Onboard Controller
2x 250GB WD RE 250GB

Link to the article on vmug: http://vmug.nl

VMware ESX3 Server van Michel

Merk Type
Asus V2-P5945GC Barebone (midi tower format)
Intel Core 2 Duo 2160 (niet geschikt voor 64 bits clients)
Kingston 2 GB Valueram
1 x Intel Gigabit NIC Intel Pro 1000GT (onboard NIC not supported)
3 x Samsung  Spintpoint 500 GB SATA for VMFS (native support ICH7)
Lite-on IDE DVD player

VMware is also making a list:: Community-Supported Hardware/Software for VMware Infrastructure


14 thoughts on “VMware ESX on a Whitebox

  1. Are you all running ESX3 on 1 cpu, in the system requirements there is stated that:
    ESX Server Requirements
    ESX Server requires a computer with the following specifications:
    • At least two processors of one of the following types:

    • 1500MHz Intel Xeon and later, or AMD Opteron (32-bit mode)

    • 1500MHz Intel Viiv or AMD A64 x2 dual-core processors

    • 1GB RAM minimum

    • One or more Ethernet controllers

    • A SCSI disk, Fibre Channel LUN, or RAID LUN with unpartitioned space

    In your specs I see just one processor and IDE disk. Does this work?

  2. The configurations shown as above are all working configurations. These configurations are used for testing purposes only! The configuration from afokkema is also connected to a openfiler iSCSI appliance to get more VMFS space for a very low price 😀

  3. Hello divado,

    Jimmy here, friend/fellow ict-freak of afokkema,

    We have a ide to scsi converter in our test-setup
    that’s how we got ide up and running.
    A low cost solution to test ESX.

    good luck with your test setup.

  4. I have the same things as “van afokkema” first example but cant get ESX 3.02 up and running. Everything with the installation goes fine but when eveything have started up I can reach the server with the VI Client. If I login on the console is says that the service console is running in fallback mode. Tried to add a line to esx.conf stating checkCPUIDLimit = “false” and then run esxcfg-boot -b. But still it wont work?? Any ideas of what I can try to get it up and running?

    Niclas Norenheim

  5. I see this is from january? I would like to try th NEWEST ESX Virtual Infrastructure, I woould like to test Vmotion, DRS, And HA, Does anybody know if the ASUS P5M2/SAS would work for this? Also I have workstations, using regualr DDR RAm and athlon X2 4800+ with SATA drives and ONBOARD RAID, from what i have read and beleive to be true no CHEAP software RAID (built into motherboard, nforce 4 chipset) would work? What is the chepaest RTAID controller that would work For RAID 0, 1 or 5 doesn’t matter this is just a testing/learning machine. I would like to do this cheaply so I can learn, it doesn’t have to be Super high performance, but would like to play with a ll the features, including Vmotion and DRS (“balloning”) and high availability, I plan on skipping switches and using crossover cables, cheap (but works with VI gig-e and RAID cards ) any suggestions? Also do you need to have “server ram” or can i use ddr with athlonx2/socket939 machines i have laying around, any hacks or workarounds would be appreciated..!!
    jeffp1ATgmailDOTcom (remove CAPS for spam bots) Unfortuntely I only speak english and some spanish ,
    I would really appreciate any help very much !!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank You

  6. Hello Jeff,

    That are a lot of questions ;-).

    The Asus P5M2/SAS works very well with VI3 (any version). But it’s a very expensive board.
    If you only wants to test the new features from VI3, than you can also build two cheap servers with one ide harddisk for the service console and a iSCSI box (see my earlier post about OpenFiler https://ictfreak.wordpress.com/2006/11/01/vi3-with-iscsi-by-openfiler-iscsi-appliance/).

    With this setup you are able to test:
    • VMotion
    • DRS
    • HA
    • VCB

    So basically you can test everything!!

    What you need for this setup is two identical boxes with the same CPU!!, lots of RAM (I use cheap Kingston ddr(2) ram and it works fine), and two or more gigabit Ethernet devices.

    I hope this will help you out.

  7. I bought some failry cheap desktop components and built a VMware ESX 3.5 server with no problems.
    Asus P5KC atx mobo – $110
    Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 – $215
    PC6400 8GB RAM – $160
    4x320GB SATA drives – $55 each
    Intel Pro 1000MT dual giga nic (PCI-express) – $40 (eBay)
    LSI PCI-express 8344ELP SATA SAS RAID for drives – $155 (eBay) (put in 16x slot)
    Works great woth no mods (although i made sure to enable BIOS VT).
    Installed on Raid 0 and another RAID 0 for VMs.

  8. i had a few hp dc5100 SFF (small form factor) desktops laying around at work and thought i would see if ESX3.5 would run on them. i read somewhere that a compaq 530 (or something) would run ESX no problem, and the specs were very similar, so i was hopeful.

    good news, it works perfect.

    HP dc5100 SFF (mini tower should work fine, too)
    P4 3.2GHz
    4GB RAM (maximum i could put in)
    built in SATA, LAN and video

    i also tried it on a dc5000 but it did not work fully as it is PATA only.

    i tried it on the dc5700 and dc5800 and, even though they are SATA, it didn’t work. i think i also got an incompatible network chipset message as well.

    i am going to go through the remaining assortment of machines at work like an xw6000 (not hopeful).

  9. a note to my above comment. the xw6000 does not work, can’t remember why. but the HP xw4100 does work just fine.

Leave a Reply to Niclas Norenheim Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.