VMware vSphere Create VM from ISO [Step-by-Step]

Creating and configure virtual machines is a common task in virtualization environments. To easily get started with it, you can read this article to view the detailed steps on how to use vSphere create VM from ISO images.


By Crystal / Updated on March 9, 2023

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vSphere: One of the most popular virtualization platforms

Virtualization has swept through the IT industry in the 21st century. You can see it being used widely in the data centers of most enterprises. VMware vSphere, the VMware’s server virtualization suite, is now one of the most popular virtualization platforms for its reliable and stable performance.

vSphere 8

VMware vSphere suite includes 2 core components, the VMware ESXi hypervisor and vCenter management software. Using VMware ESXi you can quickly and easily create and deploy virtual machines, while vCenter Server centrally manages them from an advanced console.

To get started with virtualization, you need to create and deploy virtual machines. If you have existing ISO files, you may want to know how to create VM from ISO in VMware. In fact, VMware ESXi provides intuitive wizard for you to quickly create a virtual machine whether using ISO or not.

How to create VM from ISO

Creating virtual machines is a common task in the virtualization environment. With the help of vSphere web client and intuitive wizard, administrators can easily create and configure VMs with specific hardware requirements and operating systems.

You can refer to the following steps to use vSphere create VM from ISO image.

Step 1. Upload an ISO file to VMware ESXi datastore

1. Access VMware ESXi web client, and click Storage > Datastore Browser.

Open Datastore browser

2. Navigate to the destination datastore, open or create a folder to store the ISO file you want to use to create a VM.

To create a folder, click Create directory to enter a name.

Create directory

3. Select the destination folder you just created, click Upload to upload the ISO file to this folder.


Step 2. On vSphere create VM from ISO file

4. Access VMware ESXi web client, navigate to Virtual Machines > Create / Register VM to open the wizard.

Create a new VM on VMware ESXi

5. Select creation type as Create a new virtual machine. Click Next.

Select creation type on VMware ESXi

6. Provide a Name and identify the guest operation system Compatibility information.

Identify the new ESXi VM

7. Select a datastore to store the VM files. Click Next to continue.

Select storage for new ESXi VM

8. From the Virtual Hardware tab, click to expand the CD/DVD drive 1 option.

Expand CD/DVD drive option

9. Select Datastore ISO File option, and check Connect At Power On option below.

Select Connect at power on option

10. Click Browse to open the datastore browser and select the ISO file you want to use to create the VM. Click OK to save.

Select ISO file

11. Configure the rest virtual machine hardware and virtual machine additional options.

VMware ESXi customize settings

12. Review the settings and click Finish to create the virtual machine.

Review settings of new ESXi VM

13. Right-click on the virtual machine and select Power On and then Open Console to continue the installation.

Open Console

Necessary data protection: regular vSphere backup

You may need an effective backup software for VMware vSphere to protect your virtual environment and gain the ability to quickly recover your virtual machines when needed. Here is a reliable and efficient vSphere backup software - AOMEI Cyber Backup, which enables you to backup multiple VMs either managed by vCenter Server, or on a standalone ESXi host.

It simplifies the backup process and present the steps with intuitive GUI interface. In addition, it offers you the following benefits.

Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
Flexible vSphere Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or on a standalone ESXi host.
Multiple Storage Destinations: backup to local drive, or network destinations like Windows share or NAS.
Automated Execution: automate backup tasks to run daily, weekly, or monthly and notify by email.
Role Assignment: allows one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges.


AOMEI Cyber Backup supports both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi 6.5 and later versions. Next, I will show you how to perform vSphere VM backup and restore via AOMEI Cyber Backup. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

Steps to perform vSphere backup and restore via AOMEI Cyber Backup

Backup multiple VMs:

1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click > Bind Device.

Add VMware ESXi host

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type.

3. Set the Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule and Cleanup as needed.

  • Task Name: you can change the task name or use the default name with an ordinal.
  • Device: batch backup multiple VMs on vCenter or standalone host within one backup task.

Select virtual machines vCenter

  • Target: select to back up to a local path, or to a network path like NAS.
  • Schedule (optional): perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.
  • Cleanup (optional): automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.

4. Run Backup: Now you can click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Start Backup

Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately for restoring, progress checking and schedule changing.

By selecting Restore to new location option, you can create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup to perform out-of-space recovery, saves the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

Restore to new location


To get started with virtualization, you may want to know how to create VM in VMware ESXi. This article shows the detailed step-by-step guide for vSphere create VM from ISO images.

After successfully created a virtual machine and installed the guest operating system, please don’t forget to install VMware Tools on virtual machine to gain enhanced performance and functionality.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.