It’s now fairly easy to run Windows 8 Server Beta on patched ESXi 5, but I’m not finding it well documented anywhere, not yet anyway.
For your search purposes, you may find most references state:
Windows 8 Server Beta
but the actual name that Microsoft is using is:
Windows Server 8 Beta.
You may use your MSDN or TechNet subscription login to get the beta, or just any Microsoft login to TechNet login site here, and choose the ISO.
Next, get ESXi 5.0 ready:
- Start the download ESXi500-201112001 (Patch 02) here:
- Start the download of the 64-bit (x64) 3.3GB Windows Server 8 Beta ISO named
at Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center, and if you have a current TechNet or MSDN subscription, you’ll get the download
- While downloading, take note of the instructions VMware gives about patching to ESXi500-201112001 (Patch 02)
- Read the patch description:
- Open ESXi SSH session.
Temporarily allow SSH on ESXi host, use WinSCP to transfer the patch, open PuTTY to ESXi.
- If you don’t have Update Manager installed, fast esxcli update method is detailed below: the only difference is the filename is now ESXi500-201112001.zip
which is also shown in the video. Once the patch is installed, reboot ESXi as prompted.
- Next, follow all the basic Windows Server 8 Beta VM install steps in the video below.
Basically, you’re telling the VM it’s Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 you’re installing, save the VM settings, then go back in to change the OS to Windows 8 Server x64.
But it’s all still there, the desktop, cmd.exe, compmgmt.msc, etc. And it you want sound support and the whole desktop experience, I located this command after recording the video:
dism /online /enable-feature /all /featurename:DesktopExperience
Then be sure to start the Windows Audio Service, and set the service to Autostart, and you’re all set, no reboot, you’ll now have sound for your RDP sessions, much as I described for Windows 2008 R2 here: