Installing VMware ESXi 6.7.0 on a Hades Canyon NUC

This is an article I should have done a long time ago as I recorded the video below early this summer. In any case, better late than.. you know. Anyway, the Hades Canyon NUC has a relatively powerful quad-core i7 CPU with Hyperthreading capabilities and that combined with its small size make it an interesting choice for a home lab where you want to run VMware ESXi.

There’s basically nothing that special on getting the thing installed. I did reset the BIOS settings before the installation and then just ran it from a USB stick onto the NVMe drive that I had installed. However, many people have reported various problems getting it installed. Unfortunately I don’t know how to help as I did not face any problems outside the one described in details below. Based on what I’ve read it seems that most people having issues with this are actually running the NUC8i7HNK model instead of the top-end NUC8i7HVK. That’s a bit of a bummer, since the fast GPU of the HVK model is kind of wasted in ESXi use so why pay for it…

EDIT: The NUC8i7HNK works also as long as you update the BIOS to version 0051!

Here’s a small video of me installing ESXi 6.7.0 on the NUC8i7HVK and booting it up for the first time.

However, only one of the two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces will work out of the box. That’s why the interface did not get an IP address in the video above. Both interfaces were detected, but for some reason only the other one was detecting signal when I had an Ethernet cable plugged in. Do note that I was playing around with this late May, so things may have improved since.

  • From the Direct Console User Interface, press F2 to access the System Customization menu.
  • Select Troubleshooting Options and press Enter.
  • From the Troubleshooting Mode Options menu, select Enable ESXi Shell.
  • Enable ESXi Shell
  • Enable SSH
  • Press Enter to enable the service.

Now using another computer make an SSH connection to the ESXi box, log in as root and execute the two following commands:

esxcli system settings kernel set -s preferVmklinux -v TRUE

After the reboot your both network interfaces should be working as expected.

5 Responses

  1. temna5 says:

    thank you for posting this i read your blog all the time and i have just brought myself (NUC8i3BEH) tall version after years of following your nuc reviews :)

    I dont know alot about virtual machines but VMware seems to be the “proper” way to do it, all i really
    want is multiple OS example windows 7 32x , windows 7 64x, windows 10 all running at the same time
    would be a dream for me.

    My understanding is limited so far only experience i have is running vm on top of a windows 7 machine.

    I would like to know if this sort of setup could be used for a average desktop user who wants to run extra windows machines just so that using internet would be more safe and trying out programs and untrusted software without ruining my main desktop pc

    would you recommend this or something else?

  2. ESXi might be overkill for your needs. Something like VirtualBox might be enough.

    • teeman05 says:

      thanks for your reply, i think VirtualBox is the right way to go easy to setup and use.

      My only concern is that i would be running windows then running a windows Vm on top.
      I cant find much info on it for average desktop users but VMware seems to run linux or something and then lauch different VM windows on top.

      So this looks way more complex but seems to be the right way “proper” way :) to do it.

      I was thinking about running 3 windows VMs as there is not a good way to physically swap out ssd’s on intel nucs, i have a front loaded drive caddy that i used to boot different OS from on my big desktop case but now the nuc cant do that becuase its so small :)

      MY plan.. buy a evo 500gb sdd partition drives into 3 parts and then run one os for games another for casual use and another for work.

      I know the nuc is not really a gaming machine but i just want to try the Vm experience and learn while i go

  3. ricdeez says:

    Did you say gaming? I would stick to running Windows on bare metal and running VMware Workstation to run your other OSes (say for banking, etc). Last time I checked, VMware had better support for things like USB3, etc. than virtual box.

  1. April 17, 2019

    […] the higher-end NUC8i7HVK model which was also quite interesting. Over on the, they also confirmed ESXi runs fine on "HVK" model and the issue seems to be isolated to the lower-end "HNK" […]

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