Install Home Assistant as Virtual Machine (VM) on VMware ESXi

I started exploring Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi. After several SD card crashes I decided to installed as Virtual Machine (VM) on VMware ESXi. There is a VMDK version available (link) that can attached (this involves manual steps) but I prefer a clean installation. VMware ESXi is installed on my Shuttle SH370R6 plus home lab server (link).

Other advantages of running as VM on VMware ESXi are for example:

  • The Raspberry PI has limited hardware resources and can be a performance bottleneck when using more and more sensors and installing add-ons. A home lab server offers more CPU power, memory and storage performance.
  • Snapshot functionality. Quickly make a Virtual Machine snapshot before upgrading the add-ons or itself. When something went wrong during the upgrade, simply revert the snapshot and everything works again within seconds.
  • The installation of in a Ubuntu VM on ESXi is simple.
  • USB sticks like Z-Wave or Zigbee2MQTT can be attached to the VM using ESXi USB pass-through.

Here are the steps outlined how-to install an Ubuntu VM and install

Configure the Virtual Machine hardware specifications

  • Download Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Long-Term Support), link.
  • Make a connection to the ESXi host: https://<ip-address>/ui
  • Upload the Ubuntu ISO to a datastore
  • Create a new virtual machine with the following specifications:
    • Name: HA-01
    • Compatibility: ESXi 6.7 virtual machine
    • Guest OS family: Linux
    • Guest OS version: Ubuntu Linux (64-bit)
    • Storage: datastore with 30 GB free space
    • CPUs: 2
    • Memory: 2048 MB
    • Hard disk 1: 30 GB
      • Disk Provisioning: Thin provisioned
    • SCSI Controller 0: VMware Paravirtual
    • USB controller 1: USB 2.0 or 3.0 depending on the ESXi hardware
    • Network adapter 1: Select the portgroup
      • Adapter type: VMXNET 3
    • CD/DVD Drive 1: Datastore ISO file
      • Browse to the Ubuntu ISO
      • Connect: checked
    • Video Card: Default settings

  • Next
  • Finish
  • Power on the VM
  • Open a console session

The VM has a paravirtualized SCSI controller (PVSCSI) and Virtual NIC (VMXNET3)

Install Ubuntu on ESXi

  • Language: English
  • Select: Install Ubuntu Server
  • Choose your preferred language: English
  • Keyboard configuration: Select the layout and variant: English US (
  • Installation: Install Ubuntu
  • Networking connections: The VMXNET3 NIC of the VM is displayed. Select for the IPv4 method DHCP or a manual fixed IP address
  • Configure proxy: leave this blank
  • Ubuntu mirror: Use the mirror address suggested
  • Filesystem setup: Use an Entire Disk
    • Choose the disk to install to: /dev/sda 30.00G
    • Filesystem summary: Done
    • Confirm destructive action. Are you sure you want to continue: Continue

  • Profile setup: Fill in the following fields (remember the username and password)
    • Your name:
    • Your server’s name:
    • Pick a username:
    • Choose a password:
    • Confirm a password:
  • SSH Setup: Install OpenSSH server
    • Import SSH identity: No
  • Featured Server Snaps: Select none
  • The installation of Ubuntu begins
  • The installation is complete! Reboot the system

  • Remove the attached Ubuntu ISO from the VM and press enter
  • After the reboot it’s time to install in the VM

The Open VM Tools is already installed  by default so there no need to install this package.


  • Because we installed OpenSSH we are using a SSH session for the configuration.
  • Connect to the IP address of thje Ubuntu VM using SSH (i’m using putty) for the connection.
  • Packages requirements (link) for
    • apparmor-utils
    • apt-transport-https
    • avahi-daemon
    • ca-certificates
    • curl
    • dbus
    • jq
    • network-manager
    • socat
    • software-properties-common (already installed in Ubuntu 18.04)
    • As docker package Docker-CE must be installed.
  •  Use the following commands to install all the required packages and install
sudo -i
add-apt-repository universe
apt-get update
apt-get install -y apparmor-utils apt-transport-https avahi-daemon ca-certificates curl dbus jq network-manager socat
curl -fsSL | sh
curl -sL | bash -s
  • After the installation check if there are two containers running using the following command:
root@ha-01:~# docker ps
8def326c0ce7 homeassistant/qemux86-64-homeassistant "/bin/ pytho…" About a minute ago Up About a minute homeassistant
47945d4fe0f4 homeassistant/amd64-hassio-supervisor "python3 -m hassio" 2 minutes ago Up 2 minutes hassio_supervisor
  • Connect to http://<IP address>:8123

Home Assistant is now running as VM on VMware ESXi.

3 thoughts on “Install Home Assistant as Virtual Machine (VM) on VMware ESXi”

  1. FYI
    The location of the configuration files are in the following folder:

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