I managed to install ESXi 6.5 on my APU3 yesterday. The process was not that trivial, so I thought I would post some of the non obvious things in case it helps anyone else.
The basic process I followed was the one linked from the HowTos as "Working Instructions for vSphere Hypervisor...":
All my problems were basically at the end of step 1 / start of step 2.
- To get the initial boot messages, I went into the BIOS setup, and enabled "legacy console redirection". Without this, there is no output from the "syslinux" stage of the boot, which lasts several minutes (and failed quite a few times, until I got the full process sorted)
- Using Rufus on Windows, the resulting USB drive would not boot at all on the APU
- I then followed an old VMware process for creating a bootable USB drive from a VMware ISO image:
- Basically this is to mount the ISO file, and copy all the contents to the root of a FAT32 formatted USB stick. Then rename "isolinux.cfg" to "syslinux.cfg", and edit the resulting file to add "-p1" to the end of the line:
APPEND -c boot.cfg
- Even in V6.5.0, it seems the VMware boot process uses ".c32" files that only work in a very old version of "syslinux", so I compiled V3.86 from source, and used that to install the boot sectors
- Though it was not mentioned in the new instructions, to get the VMware kernel to display its output on the serial console, I had to modify the "boot.cfg" file as documented in the "older instructions":
- Edit one line in the file boot.cfg file in the root directory of the USB stick like this:
kernelopt=runweasel text nofb com1_baud=115200 com1_Port=0x3f8 tty2Port=com1 gdbPort=none logPort=none cdromBoot
- As the original boot.cfg had "kernelopt=runweasel cdromBoot", I left "cdromBoot" at the end of the line
After this, I was able to install and use ESXi 6.5.0 on the APU. The only issue I have left is cosmetic - the "box drawing" characters don't seem to work in the serial console.