How to PXE Boot a VM Running on VMware Fusion

At the time of writing, I’m in the midst of my review for VMware VCAP Design exam, and I’ve decided to brush up on my advanced technical skills first before jumping into the business / design study materials. I reckon I’d do the former by going through the VCAP Deploy Exam Blueprint, and part of it is about fully setting up Auto Deploy – in a nutshell, it requires configuring the ESXi host to do PXE boot, and then either run Stateful or Stateless. As I’ve just suggested, part of the process would be to configure a supposedly ESXi host to PXE boot and grab files from a TFTP Server. Please check my step-by-step guide to set up VMware Auto Deploy.

For those who are using Nested Virtual Infrastructure lab like myself, we need to reconfigure the dhcpd.conf of VMware Fusion 8 so we can help the virtual machine know what to do upon PXE boot (i.e. locate the DHCP Server, the Next / TFTP Server, the boot file to grab, etc). Here’s a way to work it:

1. Open the VMware Fusion DHCP configuration file

 sudo vi /Library/Preferences/VMware\ Fusion/vmnet2/dhcpd.conf

2. Insert the following lines in the subnet section:

 option netbios-name-servers;
filename "undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired";


  • is my DHCP Server, which happens to be MacBook Pro I’m running VMware Fusion on.
  • is my TFTP Server, which is a virtual vCenter Server machine running on VMware Fusion.
  • undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired is the boot file I got from vCenter Server with Auto Deploy.

3. Use these commands to restart some VMware Fusion services instead of restarting the entire application, which is less than ideal especially if you have some VMs already running:

 sudo /Applications/VMware \ --stop
sudo /Applications/VMware \ --start

If we get things right, we’d see a slightly different message upon booting up a VM in VMware Fusion:

By |2018-10-07T12:55:25+00:00September 21st, 2017|Technology, VMware|0 Comments

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