ESXi Hypervisor

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styft
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ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by styft » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:11 am

I'm currently running ESXi 6.7 on a 6th gen NUC (two cores - boooooo) as a small home lab with 5-10 VMs and I've been holding out for an 8th gen board in similar form factor to add to the lab... lo and behold, hardkernel announces the x86 H2! I've a number of odroid boards that I've amassed over the years and I've been very impressed with them all so I figured the H2 might just do what I'm after...

I ordered one yesterday and am wondering whether there has been any effort made to get ESXi running on it?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by lazlo » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:16 pm

In theory it should run, but I have no idea how well. The CPU has 3 of Intel's VT features enabled:

https://ark.intel.com/products/128989/I ... -2-50-GHz-


It's been about 2 and half years since I tried to use ESXi on my home server but I removed it because under the free license I couldn't use a SSD as a cache for my storage pool. Well, that it was VERY slow even with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 4x 7200 HDD in RAID10. ESXi lasted less than two weeks. After that I went to Ubuntu Server for over a year before I got tired of that. I have been running Funtoo on it since because it gives me a level of stability that matches Ubuntu and a level of control that matches Gentoo.

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by tkaiser » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:07 pm

styft wrote:has been any effort made to get ESXi running on it?
ESXi should run on J Celerons but you need to fiddle around to get the network up: https://www.howson.me/realtek-rtl8111-8 ... -esxi-6-5/ (since both NICs are RealTek you need to adopt the recipe somewhat of course).

Wrt VT features: viewtopic.php?f=171&t=32851

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by ttod » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:05 pm

Has someone already tested ESXi with this board?

There is mixed information about compatibility, I think it is now confirmed that it's possible to get the NICs and sata ports working, but the M2 connection is not recognized:
https://www.sqlpassion.at/archive/2018/ ... odroid-h2/

Could someone confirm whether or not it's possible to use the M2 with ESXi?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by meveric » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:41 pm

I only used KVM for virtualization on the H2 which works perfectly fine.

ESXi is always rather tricky to get to work on "non-supported" hardware and most supported hardware has either Dell, HP, or IBM in it's name ;)
You won't get around creating your own ISO for ESXi as most likely the Kernel and drivers on default images are way to old to work on the J4105.
You might want to consult there compatibility list of hardware https://www.vmware.com/resources/compat ... ceTypes=22 to figure out if your NVMe device is supported.
Please keep in mind that VMWare aims for Enterprises not for home user market, so most devices listed there is enterprise grade hardware.
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by MarkSydney » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:44 am

 
If someone would like to update this info into the wiki, I have successfully modified ESX6.7u2 to work with the ODroid H2 with an M2 NVRam SSD and the Realtek NIC's:

The realtek bit is reasonably easy thanks to others work: https://vmexplorer.com/2017/09/23/creat ... 8-drivers/
Follow those directions to set up all the tools in place, my image is based on this version of ESXi: ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001

Getting the M2 NVME working was a touch harder, the short version is download the older version of the NVME driver - note I use Windows Powershell to make all this happen.

From the same working directory that you have followed above, Fetch the old NVME driver that works:

Code: Select all

wget "https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/esx/vmw/vib20/nvme/VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.1.34-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922.vib" -outfile "VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.1.34-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922.vib"
These are the commands I then used to create the ISO:

Establish Software Depot with ESX Base:

Code: Select all

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\update-from-esxi6.7-6.7_update02.zip
Add realtek drivers to the software depot and install the older (but working NVME driver) into the softwaredepot:

Code: Select all

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\net55-r8168-8.045a-napi-offline_bundle.zip
Get-EsxSoftwarePackage -PackageUrl .\VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.1.34-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922.vib
Create new ESX Image profile and allow community supported drivers:

Code: Select all

New-EsxImageProfile -cloneprofile ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001-standard -Name ODroidH2 -Vendor Custom
Set-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile "ODroidH2" -AcceptanceLevel CommunitySupported
Add the necessary packages to the new VMWare image package:

Code: Select all

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ODroidH2" -SoftwarePackage "nvme 1.2.1.34-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922"
Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ODroidH2" -SoftwarePackage "vmware-esx-esxcli-nvm-plugin 1.2.0.32-0.0.8169922"
Export the ISO ready to burn/etcher/rufus:

Code: Select all

Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile “ODroidH2” -ExportToIso -FilePath .\ODroidH2.iso
Last edited by MarkSydney on Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dach
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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by Dach » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:00 pm

MarkSydney wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:44 am
 
If someone would like to update this info into the wiki, I have successfully modified ESX6.7u2 to work with the ODroid H2 with an M2 NVRam SSD and the Realtek NIC's:
Nice! Do you know if it's possible to get GPU passthrough working with that setup?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by MarkSydney » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:21 am

@Dach, I can test this if you tell me how? It's still all setup in my desk rather than it's final resting place. Is it as easy as installing a linux that has some sort of intensive graphics?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by Dach » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:06 pm

It basically just means that one of the VMs will have full direct access to the GPU and will output it's graphics through that. I tried to get it working with Unraid but without any luck.

Getting it set up in ESXi seems a bit more complicated than what I was hoping for: https://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2018/09/u ... h-i-o.html

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by brad » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Dach wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:06 pm
It basically just means that one of the VMs will have full direct access to the GPU and will output it's graphics through that. I tried to get it working with Unraid but without any luck.

Getting it set up in ESXi seems a bit more complicated than what I was hoping for: https://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2018/09/u ... h-i-o.html
I'm not sure of the possibilities of having ESXi actually output graphics via the card but I guess its theoretically possible if the card could be supported. In most datacentre scenarios the GPU's are used for their computational power for specific tasks like AI, running multiuser high intensity applications like AutoCAD over remote desktop or video transcoding. The cards i've seen don't even have a graphics port, eg https://www.nvidia.com/en-au/data-center/tesla-v100/

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by Dantesian » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:36 am

MarkSydney wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:44 am

Export the ISO ready to burn/etcher/rufus:
Hello, friend!
Mb you help us and give link to ISO ?)
Big thx!

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by Dantesian » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:04 pm

it's normal, that ESXi don't detect (can't see) emmc ?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by fvolk » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:19 pm

I would also be interested to run ESXi on my H2, just for fun and learning.
Unfortunately, so far I've been only a "user" of ESXi and have zero admin knowledge or how to install this.

Thank you for your instructions, but is there also a way to do this when "Windows Powershell" is not available?
Maybe creating an image and installing it is somehow scriptable for Linux....?

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Re: ESXi Hypervisor

Unread post by MarkSydney » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:29 pm

Sorry, I'm pretty sure VMWare wouldn't like it if I uploaded ESXI somewhere.

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