You can use a USB flash drive to store the ESXi installation script or upgrade script that is used during scripted installation or upgrade of ESXi.

When multiple USB flash drives are present on the installation machine, the installation software searches for the installation or upgrade script on all attached USB flash drives.

The instructions in this procedure assume that the USB flash drive is detected as /dev/sdb.

Note: Do not store the ks file containing the installation or upgrade script on the same USB flash drive that you are using to boot the installation or upgrade.


  • Linux machine
  • ESXi installation or upgrade script, the ks.cfg kickstart file
  • USB flash drive


  1. Attach the USB flash drive to a Linux machine that has access to the installation or upgrade script.
  2. Create a partition table.
    /sbin/fdisk /dev/sdb
    1. Type d to delete partitions until they are all deleted.
    2. Type n to create primary partition 1 that extends over the entire disk.
    3. Type t to set the type to an appropriate setting for the FAT32 file system, such as c.
    4. Type p to print the partition table.
      The result should be similar to the following text:
      Disk /dev/sdb: 2004 MB, 2004877312 bytes
      255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243 cylinders
      Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
         Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
      /dev/sdb1             1           243      1951866  c   W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    5. Type w to write the partition table and quit.
  3. Format the USB flash drive with the FAT32 file system.
    /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n USB /dev/sdb1
  4. Create a destination directory and mount the USB flash drive to it.
    mkdir -p /usbdisk
    mount /dev/sdb1 /usbdisk
  5. Copy the ESXi installation script to the USB flash drive.
    cp ks.cfg /usbdisk
  6. Unmount the USB flash drive.
    umount /usbdisk


The USB flash drive contains the installation or upgrade script for ESXi.

What to do next

When you boot the ESXi installer, point to the location of the USB flash drive for the installation or upgrade script. See Enter Boot Options to Start an Installation or Upgrade Script and PXELINUX Configuration Files.