Virtualization Home Lab: Setting up VMware ESXi on the Gigabyte Brix

2013-09-23 00:27: Added information about ESXi 5.5 not including RTL8111E support
2013-09-23 22:23: Added a link to installing ESXi 5.5 with RTL8111E support

In my last post, I covered my journey of finding a small, quiet, low-power virtualisation lab computer that can run nested virtualisation.

The final system

To summarise, here’s the system I ended up with, after much consideration:

  • Gigabyte Brix, Core i5 barebones kit (GB-XM11-3337) [Buy in the UK]
  • 16GB (2x8GB) SO-DIMM Crucial RAM
  • Plextor M5M 256GB SSD [Buy in the UK]

brix vs xbox controller

VMware ESX: This product has expired

If you find you can’t Power On a virtual machine on ESX 3.5, and you’re seeing this in your error logs:

Message from This product has expired. Be sure that your host machine’s date and time are set correctly. There is a more recent version available at the VMware Web site: “”.

Then you can find the solution at this blog.

Thanks Todd, you just saved me from pulling an all-nighter. I thought I was going crazy!

Update: The first signs of this problem occuring are that, when you try to Power On a virtual machine, you get the error message: “A General System error occurred: Internal error”. After checking the Events log, you’ll see the more verbose error message earlier on in the post.