Posts Tagged ‘esxi’

VMWare ESXi force MAC Address re-generation

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

This is on 5.1u2

I don’t know how this happened as I am doing these steps every time, yet today the newly created VM with added templated disk is getting the same MAC address every time.

I tried the solutions with deleting those 5 entries form the fwx file, to no avail.

The next logical thing to do is to move the VM to another folder. I simply renamed the VM container folder. And that solved my problem.

BUT, renaming the folder back, surprise, gets the old MAC address and UUIDs back! I don’t know why and I don’t have time to figure it out, so I just leave it in new folder and choose “I copied it” when powering on the VM.

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VMWare ESXi – VM is gray when adding new hardware

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

VMWare ESXi 5.0 U1

It happened to me that I created a new VM, then copied over a template VMDK but forgot to add it. When I started the VM it complained of no OS, so I edited the config and added the HDD.
Right after this operation, the VM became gray and was no longer manageable.
I removed it from inventory, then added it back again and now it was showing properly as powered on.
I powered it off, then on again.

Now, the VM kept showing a text cursor “dancing” on the screen like crazy.
I powered it off, removed the HDD, then added it back and powered it on.

Now, it’s usable.

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The traps of buying online hardware from other countries

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

So I bought a StarTech 1 port PCI Express eSATA II Controller Card to use in my ESXi to passthrough to my fileserver and connect an internal HDD to it.
Everything is nice, the card works fine in windows but not in linux (which my file server is). I get
FATAL: Error inserting si3531r5 (/lib/modules/2.6.32-358.11.1.el6.x86_64/kernel/drivers/scsi/si3531r5.ko): Invalid module format
and dmesg shows:

si3531r5: version magic '2.6.9-22.ELsmp SMP gcc-3.4' should be '2.6.32-358.11.1.el6.x86_64 SMP mod_unload modversions '

This is as expected since my kernel grew/matured over the years unlike their drivers.
So I go about contacting their support, asking for code or updated drivers. They route me to silicon image for this issue because

Unfortunately when it comes to the source code for these cards, that code is owned by Silicon Image and if we had the source code ourselves, we would still most likely not be at liberty to hand it out. We supply the driver on the website which is designed for getting this card installed and working in most environments.

now, that’s silly, since in the linux world, kernels get new versions all the time so it’s pretty much impossible to keep a system outdated for 4-5 years just so an expansion card can be used in it. It’s just stupid.

So I go to silicon image site, and check for drivers. What do you know:

End-Users: Silicon Image does NOT support End-Users directly. Silicon Image designs and develops chips for manufacturers. These manufacturers develop their own drivers, firmware and software for their boards. Silicon Image does not have information or access to the Drivers, Software or boards that these manufacturers create and sell. We typically assist these manufacturers when they have problems with our chips. End-Users should contact product manufacturer of the board for technical support.


Call me stupid, but startech support appears to be living on another planet. They tell me to return the card. Right. Overseas?

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Install VMWare ESXi 4.1 on USB stick

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

As part o fmy VGA PCI passthrough testings, I wanted to install esxi on a USB stick.
After failed with several solutions (including lili usb creator, which works for 5.0) I found the following site that did better than putting the ISO on the USB stick: it literally installed esxi on the usb stick:

This might work for 5.0 as well but no time to test it yet.

The only problem is, I am not able to set up a datastore on it 🙁 so guess I’m back to finding a sata hdd.

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VMWare ESXi shrink thin or thin provisioned disk

Monday, April 9th, 2012

If you’re like me, that is with a very limited cash availability to invest in hardware, you will most likely run out of space pretty fast once you start converting all those virtual machines you got on the desktop to your newly installed ESXi.
Now, you will immediately think, what happened to my thin provisioned disks that made them grow like that? You can google for the answer but let me tell you a better solution than what you will find on the net, which are:
– convert the virtual machine
– use some cdelete or whatever its name is to free up space
– maybe other things that are not as cool

The cool idea is that you can create a new disk, about the size that you need, and copy over the data to the new disk then delete the old one. Either use dd in linkux or whatever diskcopy you can find for windows (easeus has a few solutions) or use a system backup something that will pack up your files and then restore on the new disk.
This beats converting V2V as the hardware will not change.

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Create ESXi 5.0 ISO to USB bootable flash stick in windows

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

I just got my hardware for my personal ESXi server (I will go into more detail in a separate post one of these days) and the first thing I noticed when I wanted to plug in my CD-ROM was that the MB had no IDE connector. I don’t have a sata cd-rom nor a usb one, so the next best thing, boot from USB.
Now, there are a lot of cool utilities out there to convert a bootable ISO image into a bootable USB stick, but from the aprox 3 or 4 I tried, only the last one worked. I even tried going manual, applying syslinux from command line, copying files and editing the configs. However, due to the fact that the file names are all in uppercase on the CD, the bootloader was not able to fins the kernel and stuff.

So, long story short, I found the following article which works for ESXi 5.0:

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Oracle RAC Templates on VMWare ESXi

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

A little while ago I started and managed to get an oracle RAC template to run from cmwares ESXi.
The long story short is that I installed OracleVM in a virtual machine created on the ESXi with a 100 GB hdd.
So basically now I had a hypervisor running inside a hypervisor. Yes, it works just fine.
Then installed oracle VMM on another virtual machine on the ESXi.
Then I enabled promiscuous mode on the virtual machines private vswitch. Absolutely a must. This is a deal breaker. Unless you do this, you will not be able to ping from domU into the internet, only another domU or dom0.
Then installed the RAC templates on the Oracle VM as normal, following the documentation.

At this point I was having a working RAC environment, with the only drawback that it had the overhead of running inside a secondary hypervisor.

So nect step is to move the RACs out of Oracle VM and into vmware ESXi.
This appears to be trickier. I tried vmware converter on the running RACs. Node 1 I converted as is but then it wouldn’t boot because it was running a XEN kernel and that is not supported by vmware.
So for node 2, I rebooted into the non-xen kernel, the el5euk one. I had to manually edit grub to boo that by default because as it seems, nice little oracle VM doesn’t give you much chooce to see the booting process. Maybe it’s possible but I didn’t had the need to figure out since I knew how to edit the boot menu.
Then I converted node 2 and now when it boots it will eventually go into a kernel panic as, the only errors I was able to see prior to the kernel pani, it cannot mount the partitions.
I tried installing different kernels by using a centos livecd and chroot-ing to it but to no avail.

Next step is to modify the original rac2 to have a modified non-xen, non-euk kernel and see if that works. If I don’t forget, I’ll keep you updated on this progress.

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