VMware ESXi 5 whitebox NIC support

I tested the NICs below in my VMware ESXi 5.x whitebox server at home. Here the status:

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 orIntel Corporation 82579LM

To add for example 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 you’re ready to create the customized VMware ESXi 5 ISO. The ISO supports the Intel 82579V and 82579LM NIC(s) found on many whitebox motherboards today.  Possible future updated version(s) of the driver can be found in the following post.

 

82 thoughts on “VMware ESXi 5 whitebox NIC support”

  1. Thanks for the info. This is great news. My whiteboard has the 82579 NIC. I’ll use this process to get it to work.

  2. I tried out the patched Esx 5.0 it works fine.I tested the system on s1200bts motherboard with xeon 1240 processor and 8 GB memory. While the original ESX iso installation did not recognize the 82579 onboard NIC, the patched version is working fine, I have test run it continously for 10 days without any abnormal server performance or errors. It is resonable to say that the patch is a stable release (at least initial tests confirm this). A big thank you to the Beerens. And I hope this review helps others using this patch.

  3. I am also have same issue, Try to customize iso with 82579V driver for ESXi 5.0 but customizer asks for .tgz or.vib files but driver is not downloaded is not in supported format.

    Please suggest me How to proceed?

  4. Driver downloaded is not in supported format.. & unable to customize…
    Please suggest me…
    Thanks in advance…

  5. The file created by Chilly comes in .tar format. Just rename to .tgz. Works like a charm on my box. Thank´s all.

  6. I have a nic of realtek pice gbe family, i tried installing esx 3.5 but it shows lvmdriver failed to load, so now gonna try esxi 5. So will this customizing work on my specified nic….pls helpout

    Thanks in advance

  7. Folks, I tried the above solution. This time I got ESXi 5 installed however after the reboot, I get an error saying “cannot find boot device”.
    Anyone come across this.
    Here are the specs of my whitebox ESXi 5 server
    Intel desktop motherboard with the Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN controller
    16Gb RAM
    2 x 1TB SATA drive

  8. Hello
    You said that intel 82541PI can be used with esxi 5 but I am having issues with it.The thing is kernel can see it and lspci shows it but its not available on gui. Mind you I did migrate from esx 4.1 to esxi 5 and whole process went fine but as I said one nic that I mentioned cant be used a all. Can this be fixed (adding drivers) and how?

  9. Thanks a lot! Worked perfect!
    @Salil: Regarding the boot problem: I enabled UEFI boot mode in BIOS, then it worked.

  10. I can NOT download the “http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27246203/E1001E.tgz”, because I am living in PRC, would you please send me the E1001E.tgz to me: hzgmax@21cn.com. Thank you very much!

  11. Hi Ivo,
    Thanks a ton…
    I am having a server with s1200bts motherboard & despite all efforts, I was not able to use one of the on board NIC. With this solution I have both the NIC active & working good. Everything went on smooth! Thanks a lot!

    Arindam

  12. Brilliant, thank you so much. This worked a treat. I’d been looking for ages for a solution and was tearing my hair out!

  13. Ivo, how have you turned on working Patsburg 6 Port SATA AHCI controller on ESXi 5.0? Do you use it in AHCI mode or should it work also for RAID mode? Thanks!

  14. I am getting
    FATAL ERROR: rror creating the customized ISO file!

    and I downloaded the driver in step 2 and renamed it to .tgz

  15. All seems to go well, but then upon reboot, I get “no boot device found”. What is interesting is that if I hit F10 to force the BIOS to use a specific boot device, the disk drive is listed, and it boots. But it seems to not have any idea how to boot from the disk drive if left on its own.

    Not that useful for a backroom server with no keyboard/monitor 🙂

    Im running ESXi on a DH67CF motherboard with BIOS 0132. VMware 5.0.0 Update 1.

    Any ideas anyone?

  16. All seems to go well during the ESXi install, but then upon reboot, I get “no boot device found”. What is interesting is that if I hit F10 to force the BIOS to use a specific boot device, the disk drive is listed, and it boots. But it seems to not have any idea how to boot from the disk drive if left on its own.

    Not that useful for a backroom server with no keyboard/monitor 🙂

    Im running ESXi on a DH67CF motherboard with BIOS 0132. VMware 5.0.0 Update 1.

    Any ideas anyone?

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