How to create a bootable ESXi USB disk on macOS

Insert USB drive in your computer. Open Terminal and list the mounted disks using the following command (note disk#):

$ diskutil list

Now we will format the disk using FAT32 filesystem and MBR partition map

$ diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS "ESXI" MBR disk#

Unmount the USB drive:

$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk#

Next we need to flag the first partition as bootable:

$ sudo fdisk -e /dev/disk#
f 1

Mount the ESXi ISO image and copy all the files to the USB drive.

Locate the file ISOLINUX.CFG on the USB drive and rename it to SYSLINUX.CFG


Open the SYSLINUX.CFG file and append the bold characters to the existing line:

APPEND -c boot.cfg -p 1

Save and close the file, and eject the USB drive. Now you can boot from the USB drive.

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