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Adding Realtek 8111E NIC to ESXi install

This was originally supposed to be how to update the ESXi ISO to allow for installation by USB to a machine with the Realtek 8111E NIC.  Having spent most of the day trying to get this working either as USB install or Network install, I’ve for the moment put the idea on hold.  Following the instructions available online and using the mkesxiaio script, I was able to install ESXi using USB, but as soon as I tried to use the OEM.TGZ file, the install would get to the reading the Kickstart config file, then erroring indicating autopart –firstdisk –overwritevmfs had no valid target.  Until I can find a solution for this I’ve used the following to get the Realtek enabled.

 

Things you’ll need –

  • Installed ESXi Server with a Realtek NIC
  • SSH client (Putty is my choice on Windows)
  • oem.tgz file from vm-help

 

Steps involved –

  • Copy the oem.tgz file to a location the esxi machine has access to (NFS share etc)
  • Enable SSH access to the ESXi box
  • cd to /vmfs/volumes/Hypervisor1
  • mv oem.tgz oem.tgz.ORIG
  • copy the new oem.tgz file to /vmfs/volumes/Hypervisor1
  • Restart the ESXi box.
  • You should now be able to add the Realtek to a vswitch
I’m sure there are other ways of doing this, but this has worked for me.  If you have other methods of creating either the Kickstart USB with the oem.tgz included, or copying the oem.tgz file to the machine, let me know in the comments.  Unless you need the SSH enabled I’d recommend disabling it again, after you’re done.

Resources

oem.tgz
mkesxiaio

 

UPDATE – Something I later found which I now think is the root of my previous problems, when I use the above method to change the oem.tgz file, I lose access to the local datastore after a reboot.  It looks like there is something in the existing oem.tgz that is removed when I add in the new one.  I’m going to try to merge the two oem.tgz files, and see if this resolves the problem.

 

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