Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Installing VMware ESXi 3.5 on Intel Atom D945GCLF2 using USB Flash drive

11th day of the month seems to be a potential VMware day. After the initial failed attemtps to install VMware on Intel Atom board, I tried to install ESXi 3.5 today after more than an year :)

First, I was not aware that VMware ESXi installation can be customised. After I came to know that this can be done, I could not succeed, for the fact that I was using Windows to achieve this :) The hard disk crashed and took the Windows installation with it. Ubuntu came to rescue. A pen drive based installation was quickly done.

Customizing ESXi for Realtek 8168 NIC on D945GCLF2 seems straightforward (After I managed to get it done after 1+ year :D )

- Download ESXi 3.5 ISO image from VMware site
- Extract the image and locate VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386.dd.bz2
- Extract VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386.dd from above file
- Use dd to transfer this image on a flash drive
dd if=VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386.dd of=/dev/sdX bs=100M count=1
- Re-insert the flash drive into slot and mount Hypervisor1 partition
- obtain custom oem.tgz (http://www.vm-help.com/forum/download/file.php?id=136&sid=b9568bc1d9037cf1483e39e9eaf3124b) and overwrite in the mounted partition
- Restart and boot with the new drive :)

The onboard SATA controller (ICH7) has been discovered but there is no disk connected. Once I get the failed disk repaired, can check if its detected in native mode.

Till then back to diskless Ubuntu :)