ESXi

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  • 1.  Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI

    Posted Apr 07, 2018 12:37 AM

    I'd like to install the free ESXi hypervisor on a PC with a Realtek 8168 Gigabit NIC. However, ESXi 6.5 U1 does not have a built-in driver for this NIC. There are community supported drivers, but they all seem to require that you incorporate them into the ISO with various tools that require a full vSphere license (PowerCLI.) Since I do not have the ability to use PowerCLI, how can I build a custom image?

    Side note: Why is this so hard to do? Why can't I just drop the driver file onto my ESXi USB installer and be done with it? That's the way most operating systems work...



  • 2.  RE: Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI

    Posted Apr 07, 2018 02:52 AM

    Since I do not have the ability to use PowerCLI, how can I build a custom image?

    But why wouldn't you have the ability to use PowerCLI?

    Side note: Why is this so hard to do?

    It's not at all hard to do. Why can't you use PowerCLI and run a couple small cmdlets to add your driver? ESXi isn't most operating systems, so comparing its installation and operation to a regular Windows or Linux OS is not at all a fair comparison.



  • 3.  RE: Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI

    Posted Apr 07, 2018 03:53 AM

    Sorry, my mistake. A friend explained to me that I can still download PowerCLI without a full license, I just wouldn't be able to connect via PowerShell to an unlicensed server. I'm trying to build the ISO now. Thanks.



  • 4.  RE: Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI



  • 5.  RE: Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI

    Posted May 04, 2022 10:46 PM

    I also need to build a custom installer ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerShell. There are two reasons for this:

    1. I used Linux, not Windows, to write the raw image to a USB stick. (isohybrid + dd commands).

    2. The USB stick boots, but I need to add the USB network driver for  ESXi to the installation image. I have downloaded the relevant fling (ESXi703-VMKUSB-NIC-etc.), but all the instructions I have found only explain how to do add this to the image using PowerShell. PowerShell exists only in Windows, not Linux.

    Surely there is a way to add the network driver to the image manually in Linux, e.g. by mounting the ISO file, copying it to the correct folder and making one or two other changes? How do I do it?

     



  • 6.  RE: Building custom ESXi ISO without vSphere or PowerCLI

    Posted Oct 05, 2023 10:11 AM

    You found a way? I don't have any Windows systems that I can use.