When you set up your system to boot from a software FCoE LUN, you install the ESXi image to the target LUN. You can then boot your host from that LUN.


  • Configure the option ROM of the network adapter, so that it points to a target boot LUN. Make sure that you have information about the bootable LUN.
  • Change the boot order in the system BIOS to the following sequence:
    1. The network adapter that you use for the software FCoE boot.
    2. The ESXi installation media.

    See the vendor documentation for your system.


  1. Start an interactive installation from the ESXi installation media.
    The ESXi installer verifies that FCoE boot is enabled in the BIOS and, if needed, creates a standard virtual switch for the FCoE capable network adapter. The name of the vSwitch is VMware_FCoE_vSwitch. The installer then uses preconfigured FCoE boot parameters to discover and display all available FCoE LUNs.
  2. On the Select a Disk page, select the software FCoE LUN that you specified in the boot parameter setting.
    If the boot LUN does not appear in this menu, make sure that you correctly configured boot parameters in the option ROM of the network adapter.
  3. Complete the installation by following the prompts.
  4. Reboot the host.
  5. Change the boot order in the system BIOS so that the FCoE boot LUN is the first bootable device.
    ESXi continues booting from the software FCoE LUN until it is ready to be used.

What to do next

If needed, you can rename and modify the VMware_FCoE_vSwitch that the installer automatically created. Make sure that the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) mode is set to Listen or Both.