Prerequisites for Running Photon OS on vSphere

Resource requirements and recommendations vary depending on several factors, including the host environment (for example, VMware vSphere and VMware Fusion), the distribution file used (ISO or OVA), and the selected installation settings (for example, full or basic installation).

Before you use Photon OS within VMware vSphere, perform the following prerequisite tasks:

  1. Verify that you have the following resources:

    Resource Description
    VMware vSphere installed VMware web client (v6.5) for ESXi hosts (recommended)

    Note: vSphere 6 and vSphere 5.5 (these clients provide limited support; Not all features are available).

    Memory ESXi host with 2GB of free RAM (recommended)
    Storage Minimal Photon install: ESXi host with at least 512MB of free space (minimum); Full Photon install: ESXi host with at least 4GB of free space (minimum); 16GB is recommended; 16GB recommended.
    Distribution File Photon OS ISO or OVA file downloaded from bintray (

    Note: The setup instructions in this guide use VMware vSphere 6 and the vSphere web client.

  2. Decide whether to use the OVA or ISO distribution to set up Photon OS.

    • OVA import : Because of the nature of an OVA, you're getting a pre-installed version of Photon OS. You can choose the hardware version you want (OVA with hardware version 13 or 11). The OVA benefits from a simple import process and some kernel tuning for VMware environments. However, because it's a pre-installed version, the set of packages that are installed are predetermined. Any additional packages that you need can be installed using tdnf.
    • ISO install : The ISO, on the other hand, allows for a more complete installation or automated installation via kickstart.

      To get Photon OS up and running quickly, use the OVA.

  3. Download Photon OS. Go to the following Bintray URL and download the latest release of Photon OS:

    For instructions, see Downloading Photon OS.

    Note: For ISO installation, you must upload to a datashare that is attached to the ESXi host, or mount the file share where the ISO resides as a data store.

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