Posted by & filed under AWS/Linux/Unix/Devops stuff.

I’ve been trying for some time now to build a VMWare ESXi 4.0 test box using my Shuttle PC, today I finally identified the problem – sort of…I’ve been trying for some time now to build a VMWare ESXi 4.0 test box using my Shuttle PC, today I finally identified the problem – sort of…

I’ve been installing onto a USB drive, this part is fine. My problem is with my NIC. My PCI based Intel Pro 1000 Desktop adapter is detected fine, and it sort of works… I can ping it about half the time, and the rest of the time these pings are dropped and nasty errors are spewed to the ESXi logs. Additionally, the PC will not receive a DHCP lease, I have to manually assign its IP.

I have tried everything under the sun to get this to work including, in no particular order:

  • NIC adapter settings and tweaking NIC related features
  • Manually loading drivers that some users on the VMWare forums reported to have helped them get their NIC up and running (in retrospect I expect were included with ESXi anyway)
  • Playing with getting ESXi to use alternative kernel extensions despite the extension loaded being supported for my NIC, according to vm-help.com
  • Trying my same NIC in my same PCI slot in another OS – it works perfectly in Ubuntu!
  • Disabling some motherboard features within my BIOS
  • Trying another NIC that is fully supported according to VMWare’s own hardware compatibility listing – no dice
  • Probably several other things that I’m forgetting now

Finally, I took my USB drive and my NICs to my friend’s computer, and lo and behold my Intel Pro 1000 Desktop adapter worked perfectly, no muss, no fuss! I have no explanation for why this same NIC worked on this other PC using the same software, and why this same NIC works just fine in Ubuntu for me. I hate the sorts of computer problems that just don’t make any sense, but at least I now know that my Shuttle and ESXi simply weren’t meant to be. Maybe with some more struggling and tinkering I can get it to work, but… meh. I’ll probably just hold off on my evaluation of ESXi until my next PC.

  • Ikram

    Hi,

    I got this shuttle sh76s3 planning to install the Vmware ESXi 5.0. Did you try installing it on your shuttle PC? I got this shuttle with 32gb ram for the ESXi

  • NetMusician Support

    I haven’t tried 5 yet, no. What kind of NIC does your Shuttle have? I was unable to find its specs via Google.