VMware ESXi on Udoo Bolt: Network drivers

Discussion in 'UDOO BOLT' started by Artem, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Artem

    Artem UDOOer

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    I purchased the Udoo Bolt very hopeful of using it as a home lab virtualiser. I tried to run the ESXi 6.7 installer (it recognised the CPU and GPU) but stuck at "No Network Adapters were detected". The Udoo Bolt has a similar NIC (Realtek RTL8111G) to another board so this is actually nothing new https://www.udoo.org/forum/threads/esxi-on-x86.6980/, and I should have known better. I've dealt with VMware ESXi before, but this is the first time I am having driver incompatibility issues. So far, I have seen people installing the drivers successfully like this (https://www.udoo.org/forum/threads/esxi-on-x86.6980/) or like this (https://www.howson.me/realtek-rtl8111-8168-8411-with-vmware-esxi-6-5/) through some kind of PowerShell script. Can anyone confirm if it works by any chance? Also, I'm questioning if sticking to an older version of ESXi may be better?
     
  2. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    I remembered your situation vividly in UDOO x86 era (built-in NIC also used the same chip RTL811G.)
    (Older version of) ESXi factory install image does not have the Realtek driver and thus stuck midway.
    There are two solutions. One is to inject the 8111 driver into the installation package (rather involved, unpack n repack.)

    The other one is easier: use the M.2 expansion adapter to "bring out" the regular sized PCIe bus. <-- see thread in UDOO x86 sub-forum
    Then use a supported NIC (such as an inexpensive Intel i211) plugged to that slot to complete the initial installation process.
    After that, add the Realtek driver into the ESXi kernel and reboot.
    From this point on the on-board 8111G is recognized/usable.
    (Optional) you can then remove the (temporary) M.2 adapter and Intel NIC and back to business as usual.
     
    Happosai likes this.
  3. someone_passingby

    someone_passingby UDOOer

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    Hey there!

    Looks like you are stuck at the same issue I had haha.
    This link has by far the best explanation + easy to follow step-by-step guide:
    http://mvsourcecode.com/vmware-vsph...tters-are-physically-connected-to-the-system/

    And my results are here:
    1.PNG photo6201955509142137092.jpg
    As you can see my Bolt has Realtek 8168 NIC.
    PM me if you are still stuck after trying :)
     
    waltervl likes this.
  4. Artem

    Artem UDOOer

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    It doesn't allow me to download it because I am "not entitled". I'm wondering if you or somebody else could build that ISO file and make a torrent out of it so that other people doing the same thing could just re-use it?
     
  5. someone_passingby

    someone_passingby UDOOer

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    You need to create a VMware account first. Then you can obtain a free license of ESXi (free version limits max # of cores to 8), ISO file, and VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) Offline Bundle. After that, simply follow the guide.
     
  6. Artem

    Artem UDOOer

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    I already had a free license account/key. However, when I try to download the Offline Bundle, I see the message that says I do not have permissions to do so.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. someone_passingby

    someone_passingby UDOOer

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    Hmm.. Looks like you have an access to trial version only, not the free version (without expiration date).

    My understanding is that trial version gives you an limited time access to full feature (including unlimited # of cores) for 60 days, where as free version gives you an unlimited time access to limited feature (max # of cores is 8).

    My download page ends with "free-esxi6" (highlighted with red) and I can see my free license key (masked with black box). Make sure that you have an access to free (not trial) license key and try again?

    Thanks.
    1.png
     

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