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Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

  • 1.  Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 22, 2010 06:21 AM

    In doing research for setting up a home lab, I've seen FAQs showing how you can use VM Workstation and virtualize your ESXi hosts.

    I was wondering if it is possible to use VMWare Server (I have version 2.0.2 installed) to do this instead of VM Workstation?

    My box is a core i3-530 with 8GB of ram and 1TB disk space.

    Thanks



  • 2.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 22, 2010 06:28 AM

    Take a look at these. With ESXi 4.x you'll need to run the VM with 2 GB of memory or more and set to a 64 bit guest OS.

    http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/bensykes/2008/10/29/running-vmware-esxi-inside-vmware-server-2

    http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8970






    Dave

    VMware Communities User Moderator

    Now available - vSphere Quick Start Guide

    Do you have a system or PCI card working with VMDirectPath? Submit your specs to the Unofficial VMDirectPath HCL.



  • 3.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 22, 2010 06:45 AM

    Thanks for the very quick response Dave!

    Am just about to hit the hay, so I'll read through the 2 blog/posts first thing tomorrow and respond here with my results.

    -Spheroid



  • 4.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 23, 2010 07:20 PM

    Ok, I followed the instructions for creating my ESXi VM under VMware Server 2

    However, I'm having a weird problem with keyboard input.

    When the initial screen appears "VMware Visor Boot Menu", I CAN use my keyboard just fine. I can arrow up and down, hit Tab, Enter, etc. They all respond normally. I then hit ENTER to Install.

    Then it proceeds to the grey and yellow screen.

    When it gets to the screen "Welcome to the VMware ESXi 4.1.0 Installation" it gives me the 3 choices:

    (ESC) Cancel

    (R) repair

    (Enter) Install

    It is at this screen that I cannot make any choices. My keyboard does not seem to work here.

    I tried hitting Enter .. nothing. Waited 15 minutes, still no response.

    Tried hitting ESC and R, same behavior.

    I also tried adding the 2 lines below (per the blog instructions) to my .vmx file. But the keyboard still fails to work at the installer screen.

    <code>monitor.virtual_exec = "hardware"
    monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = "TRUE"
    </code>

    Any ideas?

    Thanks



  • 5.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 24, 2010 10:00 PM

    Found the answer via bing.

    "... adding acpi=off to the command line allowed the installation to continue. So to do this, at the VMVisor (ESXi) boot menu, press Tab. Change the command line to read:

    mboot.c32 vmkboot.gz acpi=off --- vmkernel.gz --- sys.vgz --- cim.vgz --- ienviron.vgz --- install.vgz

    You should now be able to press Enter at the appropriate point and continue your installation"

    This worked for me. I was able to kick off the install by pressing ENTER.

    However, I am getting the following error during the install:

    vmkctl.HostCtlException: Unable to load module /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/vmfs3: Failure



  • 6.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 24, 2010 10:05 PM

    It typically indicates that ESXi is not able to recognize a network card. Is the VM setup to use an Intel (e1000) NIC?




    Dave

    VMware Communities User Moderator

    Now available - vSphere Quick Start Guide

    Do you have a system or PCI card working with VMDirectPath? Submit your specs to the Unofficial VMDirectPath HCL.



  • 7.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 24, 2010 10:09 PM

    Even thought the description in http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1011852 is for ESX 3.5, I think this explains the keyboard issue with 4.1 too.

    André



  • 8.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 24, 2010 10:59 PM

    Thanks Dave and a.p. Sure appreciate the quick replies and knowledge sharing.

    a.p. I'll try that tweak as well once I get the NIC working

    Dave: &gt;&gt; It typically indicates that ESXi is not able to recognize a network card. Is the VM setup to use an Intel (e1000) NIC?

    I have my VM configured to use bridged networking. The physical NIC on my system is (from Windows 7 device manager):

    "Intel 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection"

    I'm going to scan the vmware HCL right now and see if it's listed. I was assuming since it was an Intel gigE NIC it would be fine, but perhaps not after all?

    Thanks



  • 9.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 24, 2010 11:56 PM

    Crud, I don't see my Intel 82578DC listed in the HCL. The closest model was 82571EB.

    The 2 HCLs I consulted were:

    Search the VMware Compatibility Guide

    vm-help whitebox hcl

    I checked the vmware server 2.x documentation and online help, but didn't see anyway to emulate an Intel E1000 (unlike how ESX does)?

    Is there such a way?

    Last resort, I will run to Fry's tonight and see if they sell an Intel gigE nic that's compatible.

    Thanks for any tips



  • 10.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 25, 2010 03:20 AM

    If you see page 214 http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vmserver2.pdf a 64 bit VM should be setup with an emulated Intel Pro 1000 MT NIC. During the install you can access the console by pressing ALT+F1. Login with root (no password). Then run lspci -p. Do you see an entry for a device using the e1000 driver? If so you should be able to run esxcfg-nics -l and see the virtual Intel NIC. If you don't then you have to fix the problem at that level. ESXi (or other VMs ) won't see the actual hardware your system has as the virtualization layer hides that.






    Dave

    VMware Communities User Moderator

    Now available - vSphere Quick Start Guide

    Do you have a system or PCI card working with VMDirectPath? Submit your specs to the Unofficial VMDirectPath HCL.



  • 11.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 25, 2010 03:41 AM

    Cool, thanks a LOT for the help Dave.

    Ok, the first thing I noticed in your response was "...a 64bit VM should be setup with an emulated Intel Pro 1000 MT NIC ..."

    When I created the VM for my ESXi install, I selected Other 32-bit (per the updated instructions from bensykes blog that you mentioned):

    2. Once installed, create a new virtual machine from the VMware server 2 web interface (http://localhost:8222). I set the operating system type to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 64-bit (UPDATE: use "Other 32-bit").

    So that might be the culprit.

    I accessed the console as root (thanks for the walkthrough!)

    But didn't see anything resembling a NIC from the output of lspci -p

    However when I did n "lspci | grep net", it came back with:

    000:002:01.0 Network controller: AMD Inc PCnet - Fast 79C971

    So I'm guessing the 32-bit vmware server 2.x VMs generate only a 10/100 "hardware" nic that's from AMD?

    Let me try re-creating (modifying?) my ESXi VM as a 64-bit host and see what kind of NIC lspci shows this time....

    Stay tuned....



  • 12.  RE: Possible to install ESXi 4 under VMware Server 2?

    Posted Oct 25, 2010 04:03 AM

    Success!

    I changed the os to Other 64-bit, then noticed the NIC had a red "x" icon. So I changed it from 'Flexible' to 'e1000'

    After doing those 2 things, the ESXi hypervisor installed successfully. I rebooted into the hypervisor and am now installing the vSphere client from my VM's "Welcome" webpage.

    This is great - I sure appreciate the help getting this to work. Saved me TONS of time. Marking my question answered.

    Cheers