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Deploye vCenter Server Virtual Appliance on VMware Workstation

There are a lot of articles introduce how to deploy vCenter Server virtual appliance on VMware Workstation. I tried but somehow it's failed. Following are some notes for your reference if you want to deploy vCenter Server virtual appliance on VMware Workstation real quick.

I assume you don't have DNS or domain servers. Native DHCP services of VMware Workstation is used. You just want to use vCenter Server for some quick testings purpose, and "host-only" NIC you want to select.

  1. vCenter Server installer validates FQDN when it's first boot up. The process fails if FQDN doesn't work. So please make sure "Host Network Identity" is IP address of the VM when you set the OVA options.

  2. The VM is immediately booted up after importing the OVA file. But VM NIC is "disconnected" status sometimes. You have to enable the NIC in VM properties real quick.

  3. You have to wait for about 15 - 20 minutes after first boot. Console screen doesn't show IP address before it's fully ready. The indicator of readiness is the IP address of the VM is responding to ping.

  4. Login https://vcenter_ip:5480 to continue vCenter Server installation after the first boot is ready.

  5. The password of Administrator@vsphere.local is same as you set during importing the OVA.

Updates 28th May 2018:

Root authentication on step 4 above maybe failed. It's caused by root account locking. Please follow the procedures below:

  1. Reboot vCenter VM.

  2. Press "e" when you see the Photon booting screen.

  3. Add "rw init=/bin/bash" to the end of the 2nd line. Refer here for detail.

  4. Run "passwd" to change root password when you see # prompt.

  5. Run "pam_tally2 --user root" to check how many failures root hits.

  6. Run "pam_tally2 --user root --reset" to unlock root if you see more than 1 in step 5.

  7. Reboot. You should be able to login root now.

Updates 31st May 2018:

You should see the installation wizard in step 4. Please make sure "System name" field is IP address if you only want to use IP for vCenter Server.

Updates 5th Sep 2018:

You may see the following error during installation.
Could not connect to VMware Directory Service via LDAP

It indicates vCenter Server FQDN doesn't work. If you're a home lab, you may want to add the DNS entries in the hosts file.

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