VMware ESXi 5 whitebox NIC support

I tested the following NICs in my VMware ESXi 5 whitebox server at home:

NIC Recognized by VMware ESXi 5 Listed in ESXi 5 as
Intel PRO/1000GT Desktop Adapter PCI Yes

Intel 82541PI Gigabit Ethernet Controller

Realtek RTL 8111E Yes Realtek 8168 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter PCI-e Yes Intel Corporation 82574L
Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN controller No

You need the make a customized ESXi 5 ISO or VIB file.

This is a not supported configuration!

Intel Corporation 82579V 

or

Intel Corporation 82579LM

To add the Intel 82579 chipset, create a customized ESXi 5 ISO.  This is very simple because some people have already done the hard work.

Here are the steps:

1. Download ESXi-Customizer (create by Andreas Peetz) found here.

2. Download the driver (created by Chilly) found here.

3. Start the ESXi-Customizer and follow the 3 steps:

2011-12-04 17h03_20

And your ready to install the customized VMware ESXi 5 ISO. The ISO supports the Intel 82579V and 82579LM NIC(s) found on many whitebox motherboards.  Possible future updated version(s) of the driver can be found in the following post.

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76 Responses to VMware ESXi 5 whitebox NIC support

  • Jesus says:

    Installed ESXi 5.1 & though via local CLI I can see the two nics (Intel 82579LM and 82579V) using lspci, I only have ONE network adapter via the System Customization interface on the local server. vSphere client also just shows me ONE network adapter. I have tried using the e10001 vib file others have used for solving this issue and when I use the command “esxcli software vib install” to install it, I always get the same vmware error saying that file not found in depot, even though it is locally present in both the datastore1 and the /var/log/vmware/ directories!
    Going really crazy with this. It is the reason I love windows and hate linux. I can do anything in windows, but in linux, it is a nightmare hehehe.
    Any help much appreciated!

  • Keith Liew says:

    I got this error when customizing the driver
    Fatal Error: Error uncompressing OEM.tgz

    Please help.

  • Antonio says:

    After knowing that ESXI 5.0 does not support the Intel 82579V NIC, I created a customozed version of ESXI 5.0 using your procedure.
    I was able to install the customized version but when and the server rebooted in order to run ESXI 5.0,
    I got the following message:

    The system has found a problem on your machine and can not continue
    could not populate the filesystem: Boot image is corrupted

    My system configuration is:

    MotherBoard: Asus P9X79 PRO
    CPU: I7-3280 3.6 GHZ
    Ram Memory: 32 GB
    Hard Drive: 1 TB Seagate

    Any help in order to install ESXI 5.0 on this machine will be appreciated

  • langxingming says:

    I want to hold a e1001e.tgz,but I can’t download it,Can you help me?

  • Swilky says:

    Thankyou so much!

  • Johan says:

    Thanks for the information. ESXi 5.0 is running on HP Compaq Pro 6300 with INtel 82579 NIC.
    Just rename e1001e.tar to e1001e.tgz after downloading!

  • Arno says:

    is there anyone out there where the realtek 8111e is also not recognized? I have a B75ma-p45 motherboard but the network card does not show up??

  • MRJ says:

    Does this also work with 5.1? After creating the installer and installing, system reboots with purple error screen “Could not load multiboot modules: Boot image is corrupted”

    Going to try it with 5.0, but wondering if anyone had success with 5.1

  • ccbasubas says:

    I think we both are having the same problem, my motherboard was ASUS P8H61-M LE and having the same network interface Realtek 8111E.
    Have you got any solution already?

  • Paulus says:

    Hi Arno, I have the same problem with my B75MA-P45. It is OK with BIOS v1.3, but NIC can’t find after I updated to v1.6. It should be caused by the NIC firmware have been updated at the same time and not supported by ESXi.

    Anyone have solution?

  • Deyan says:

    Hi, Can I have some help. Someone was run Esxi of notebook Dell n5110 – cpu i7 2670qm, 8GB ram? He doesn’t detect network adapter. I use tool but the result is the same. Something missing but I can not catch what it was asking for help. My network adapter is Realtek 8101E

  • Subhadeep Sen says:

    Really Great solution. Thanks a lot…

  • mag says:

    HP Compaq Pro 6200 and ESXi 5.1 updated , OK :)

  • Brian says:

    No problems on a Lenovo T430 with ESXi 5.1U1. Thanks for the solution!!

  • Karthik says:

    Hi Everyone,

    It worked like a charm ,I have a system Intel Z77GA-70 which has Intel 82574 and Intel 82579 NIC , Intel 82574 was recognized with the default esxi5 update 2 , I used the above steps and It works great both my nics are recognized now .

    Thanks for the Tip

  • leo says:

    where can i download the vib file?

  • Claes Welinder says:

    Just Like Keith Liew, I can’t rebuild the ISO.

    “Fatal Error: Error uncompressing OEM.tgz”

    I’m on a Mac, running Windows through Parallels. (Also tried VirtualBox)
    For original installer I use “VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0.update01-1065491.x86_64″

    Any help would be extremely appreciated! :)

  • Claes Welinder says:

    P.S.

    Logfile says:

    Error:
    Incorrect command line
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:08.02] !———————————————————————————–
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:08.02] !– FATAL ERROR: Error un-taring OEM.tar!
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:08.02] !———————————————————————————–
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:08.02] Run: “C:\Documents and Settings\TDW\Desktop\ESXi-Customizer-v2.7.1\tools\MsgBox.exe” 266260 “FATAL ERROR:&n Error un-taring OEM.tar!&n&nSee log file ‘C:\Documents and Settings\TDW\Desktop\ESXi_custom_ISO_NUC\ESXi-Customizer.log’ for details! Do you want to open the log file in notepad now?”
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:18.91] Cleaning up …
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:18.93] Run: rmdir /s /q “C:\Documents and Settings\TDW\Desktop\ESXi_custom_ISO_NUC\esxicust.tmp”
    [Thu 08/29/2013 20:17:19.05] This is the end.

  • maxmar69 says:

    Hello
    Is it possible to use intel 82541PI with esxi 5.1 ?
    The kernel can see it (lspci shows it) but its not available on gui.
    Can you tell me where can I download a vib file for that nic ?
    Thany you

  • Fred Beck says:

    For 5.5 you can no longer use .tgz files (Deprecated) You can use this application with .vib files and it worked just fine. I picked up the intel 82579 drivers here http://files.v-front.de/net-e1001e-1.0.0.x86_64.vib

  • Zulfikar says:

    Thank you very much…this solution was save my money ..!!

  • mshajib says:

    Thanks a lot. I have done this successuly

  • Evandro says:

    Fred Beck says:
    11/11/2013 at 17:28
    For 5.5 you can no longer use .tgz files (Deprecated) You can use this application with .vib files and it worked just fine. I picked up the intel 82579 drivers here http://files.v-front.de/net-e1001e-1.0.0.x86_64.vib

    THIS WORK FINE, THANKS

  • Gal says:

    hi,
    i have the same issue with 5.5 and dell R620.
    how can i tell which driver are needed??

  • Monty says:

    Brilliant! This worked perfectly for my Intel 82579V integrated nic on an Intel DH77EB motherboard. Thanks for this and all your hard work!!

  • Ken says:

    Have this, any hints on a driver that would work esxi 5.1

    Realtek RTL 8106E-CG on the motherboard.
    Esxi 5.1 will not recognize the adapter.
    Tia
    Ken

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