Rocky Linux 8 ISO won't boot on ESXi - SOLVED


Investigated and found there is option in the VM settings of ESXi to work around secure boot.

In the boot options there is option ‘Enable UEFI secure boot’ which can be deselected. Boot works OK once that is unticked.


Hi - I suspect that this is related to the current missing support for Secure Boot, but just checking.

I have an ESXi 6.7U2 server running a number of VMs of various OS. The physical host is a recent Intel NUC.

I downloaded both the latest (8.4) DVD and Boot ISOs, did a checksum validation and copied to the ESXi server. As standard I connect the CD/DVD drive to the ISO file and start the new VM but it will not boot.

I’m almost certain the NUC firmware has secure boot enabled (don’t want to down the whole physical server to check preferably), and I read on the VMware site that this is exposed to the VMs running on ESXi running on the physical machine.

  1. Anyone been able to get Rocky Linux 8 running on ESXi? Did you find the same issue and was it resolved by disabling Secure Boot in the firmware of the ESXi host machine.
  2. Is there a projected timeframe for the ISOs to have secure boot support.

I’ve gotten Rocky 8 running on ESXi and also done a migration of an existing CentOS8 box running on ESXi to Rocky. You definitely have to disable secure boot in the Guest OS configuration to get it to work until Rocky is accepted as a valid Secure Boot OS. If you try and run the migratetorocky script it will even check the Secure Boot status of the existing VM and explain that you need to turn it off to run the migration.

As far as timeframes go. how long is a piece of string? We’re in the hands of a certification group now, it’s up to them how long they take to sign it off - or even if they’ll do so. It might be tomorrow, next week, next month, or never. I don’t know if we’ve had any feedback from them, or if there is a test process we have to go through. So it’s just a case of fingers crossed at the minute.


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The same is true when running Rocky Linux in HyperV. Uncheck the “Enable Secure Boot” option in the settings dialog for the individual VM.