nVidia vGPU Guide – ESXi Host Driver Install


  1. Complete the steps found here to choose a specific vGPU version and download the appropriate drivers for that vGPU version.
  2. Install the GPU into the ESXi host
    1. Don’t forget to plug-in the GPU power cable!
  3. Enable SSH on the ESXi host
  4. Place the ESXi host in maintenance mode

Installing the Driver (.vib)

  1. Extract the NVIDIA-GRID zip file downloaded from the nVidia Licensing portal
  2. Copy the Host Driver .zip file to a datastore the ESXi host can access
  3. Run the esxcli command below to install the driver (VIB)
esxcli software vib install -d <Full Path to .zip file>

Note: If you’re receiving an error that mentions difficulty extracting the .Zip file ensure the full path to .Zip file includes any UUIDs instead of their corresponding alias’.

A screen like this will appear after successful installation:

Enable “Shared Direct” GPU

Each host requires the GPU type to be changed from Shared to Shared Direct.

  1. Click on the Host in vCenter
  2. Click the Configure tab
  3. Under Hardware click Graphics
  4. Find the GPU, click on the GPU and click the pencil icon
  5. Change from Shared to Shared Direct and reboot

Rinse and Repeat

Remove the ESXi host from maintenance mode and repeat all of these steps for each host within the environment that will use GPUs.

Where to go next?

Continue to the Windows or Linux VM driver installation page.