How to Enable Nested Virtualization on VMware ESXi 5.0/ESXi 5.1/ESXi 5.5/ESXi 6.0

Nested virtualization is when you run guest hypervisor, like ESXi 5 or later version, inside a virtual machine(VM) instead that on real physical server hardware. This will require hardware-assisted virtualization (HV) for 64-bit guests on AMD hardware. On my HP N40L Lab server, i have installed nested ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.5 and ESXi 6.0 guest hypervisor. In order to enable nested VT, i have performed the following :

For ESXi 5.0 :

1. SSH to the ESXi host via putty or ESXi SHell

2. Add the following line to the /etc/vmware/config file :

vhv.allow = "TRUE"

or run the following :

echo 'vhv.allow = "TRUE"' >> /etc/vmware/config

 

For ESXi 5.1/ESXi 5.5/ESXi 6.0 :

a) To enable virtualized HV on Virtual Hardware Version 8 (How to Upgrade Virtual Hardware Version)

1. SSH to the ESXi host via putty or ESXi SHell
2. There is new parameter introduced since ESXi 5.1. Add the following line to the /etc/vmware/config file :

vhv.enable = "TRUE"

or run the following :

echo 'vhv.enable = "TRUE"' >> /etc/vmware/config

 

b) To enable virtualized HV on Virtual Hardware Version 9

1. Virtualized HV is fully supported for virtual hardware version 9 VMs. To enable virtualized HV, use the web client and navigate to the processor settings screen.

2. Check the box next to “Expose hardware-assisted virtualization to the guest OS” :

Enabled-nested-1

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