You can start an installation or upgrade script by typing boot options at the ESXi installer boot command line.

At boot time you might need to specify options to access the kickstart file. You can enter boot options by pressing Shift+O in the boot loader. For a PXE boot installation, you can pass options through the kernelopts line of the boot.cfg file. See About the boot.cfg File and Network Booting the ESXi Installer.

To specify the location of the installation script, set the ks=filepath option, where filepath indicates the location of your kickstart file. Otherwise, a scripted installation or upgrade cannot start. If ks=filepath is omitted, the text installer is run.

Supported boot options are listed in Boot Options.


  1. Start the host.
  2. When the ESXi installer window appears, press Shift+O to edit boot options.
    ESXi Installer screen
  3. At the runweasel command prompt, type ks=location of installation script plus boot command-line options.

Example: Boot Option

You type the following boot options:
ks= nameserver= ip= netmask= gateway=