vmfs-fuse

Today, my thanks go to Christophe Fillot and Mike Hommey for writing vmfs-fuse. Y’all saved my bacon (or at least a few hours of my time) today.

For those that don’t recognize the tool, vmfs-fuse allows you to mount VMFS formatted volumes under “regular” linux. I was backing out of an extremely large (1TB) ESXi install and, half-way through, I realized that I hadn’t backed up one of the virtual machines. I ran up against a wall, trying to get the usual disk utilities to mount the volume and was looking at having to juggle hard drives and reinstall ESXi, just to get a folder copied. A search of Google and a Synaptic search later, and I’m copying the folder as I write this post.

So, if you’re in a pinch and need to avoid having to install ESXi, just to get a file/folder copied, you might want to consider installing the vmfs-tools package (which contains vmfs-fuse).

ESXi 3.5 and 3c905c

I can confirm that ESXi 3.5 can “see” the 3com 3c509c NIC without modifification. You’re more likely to run up against issues with the storage controller if you’re running 3.5 on newer equipment. However, before you attempt to build a custom install disk, try tweaking the drive settings in the BIOS. I managed to get mine working after changing the RAID settings and reformatting the drives. Others have had luck with turning off AHCI.

Installing ESXi 4.0 on a HP e9170c

Spent yesterday afternoon hammering on the install disk for ESXi 4.0, hoping to get a working install on a friend’s new HP e9170c.

Short version: after about 6 hours of trial and error, we have a working install.

Longer version: Took advantage of work already done by Varazir and geppi (in the VM-Help forum). In the course of six hours, we saw both the lvmdriver error and the pink screen of death. Couldn’t get the USB install to work but did get an ISO built that successfully installed ESXi on the box. Noticed Hauppauge hardware info in the psid listing that makes me want to retry attempting to access the PVR-250 card via ESXi.

In any case, notes are in the wiki. I’ll work on adding graphics. Enjoy!