Questions about my ESXI Server (HDMI and NIC)

Discussion in 'Virtualized Computing' started by beyonddc, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. beyonddc

    beyonddc Limp Gawd

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    This is the first time I am running an ESXI server, particularly version 6.5.0 (Build 4887370). Before that I have been using Virtual Box for hosting VMs for many years.

    My ESXI Server is installed on my i7-2600K with Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard.

    I have two questions.

    1) I am using the integrated graphic from my i7-2600K, the motherboard has 1 D-Sub, 1 DVI-D, 1 HDMI and 1 DisplayPort, when installing the ESXI server the HDMI out to my monitor doesn't work but the D-Sub does work. Is this a known driver issue with ESXI? I know the HDMI port on the motherboard does work because I was using it when I had Windows 10 installed on that same computer on the same day when I did the ESXI installation.

    2) The NIC (Realtek RTL8111E) on my motherboard is not detected by the ESXI server. Luckily it was able to detect my 2nd NIC that is a PCI Intel PWLA8391GT so at least I can hook up the server to my network. My question is... is this also a known driver issue with ESXI where it doesn't have default driver for the Realtek RTL8111E NIC?

    Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Edited just upgraded to the latest 6.7.0 (Build 8169922)
    Scared the **** out of me after the upgrade. The upgrade process went smoothly but after rebooting my ESXI server, my two datastores disappear, not showing up.

    Luckily after researching, it appears that it just didn't get mount. After mounting it using the esxcfg-volume command, both datastores reappear and I can start my VMs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  2. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Gawd

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    It wouldn't at all surprise me if the ESXi hypervisor install only had VGA display drivers. Most installs probably never even see a display in their lifetime, unless something goes wrong.

    I'd be shocked if VMware supported Realtek. No one that actually pays for ESXi/vSphere is going to be touching those NICs.

    VMware has a hardware compatibility list, if you need to check for other components in the future.
     
    danswartz likes this.
  3. koolaidkitten

    koolaidkitten Gawd

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    ESXi supported realtek nics i think back in like ver 4.1. Sometime after that they dropped support for them. You can still get them to work but it will take a bit of effort to inject the driver into your preferred install method. An easier method might be to just install 4.1 then upgrade to 6.5 cause then it will retain the driver. However I HIGHLY suggest you don't bother and just go buy a dual or quad port Intel NIC. They can be had for dirt cheap on ebay. If you are really strapped for cash and can't afford one then go back and diddle with getting the Realtek nic to work.

    Do yourself a favor and just get the Quad intel NICs. ESXi is picky, and finicky depending on what you want it to do, and it will frustrate you at some point along the way. You have enough to derp around with. Intel NIC it and move on with your life. Take it from someone that has been messing with it since 3.5. But once you get everything working the way you want its friggin awesome.

    As far as your video I have no idea. Mine works perfectly fine on DVI or HDMI. But then again I have a Radeon 7900 series video card. You could try checking your BIOS. It might be defaulting to the D-Sub?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  4. beyonddc

    beyonddc Limp Gawd

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    Hey guys, thanks for your tips.

    My ESXI server is already online. Although I couldn't get my ESXI server to use my onboard realtek NIC but I do have a spare Intel PWLA8391GT NIC that ESXI server was able to detect and use so networking isn't an issue.

    I will double check my BIOS settings to see if it was defaulted to use D-Sub. The server is already in commission and couple VMs already started so I will do that check when I have to update my ESXI server.

    Thanks guys
     
  5. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking 2[H]4U

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    I expect you to only need VGA drivers for the ESXi Server. Most of your management will be done via a vcenter (if you're using that) or a remote tool like the vmware vsphere client. But really you need a standalone vsphere appliance to get the full use out of your ESXi server in my opinion. (and really in the future with later revisions as the stand alone client will stupidly be further and further deprecated.
     
  6. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    He's using esxi 6.7 no more stand alone client, only web (6.0 was the last one with the fat client), and VMware has stated the HTML client is the future with no chance of bringing back the local client.

    To your point they're heavily driving towards vCenter management capabilities for the hosts though, which is expected.
     
  7. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking 2[H]4U

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    That is interesting I'll have to test and see if I can connect to my host with the thick client next week. I like having that recovery method in case my boss does something wrong in Dev.
     
  8. dgingeri

    dgingeri 2[H]4U

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    I ran one of my ESXi boxes on a Core i5 2500k on a P9Z77 WS board, and had pretty much the same issue with displays. Only the VGA port would work. Trying to use DVI was just met with a blank screen. (I'm now running Windows directly on it specifically for storage purposes.) It didn't matter that much to me, in that I was using a VGA KVM, so I never looked into it being a widespread problem. I actually had the same problem with my Core i7 4790k on a Asus Z97 WS board, and had to use a DisplayPort to VGA adapter to get any video from it when running ESXi. Perhaps this might work for you: https://www.amazon.com/VicTsing-Out...526323899&sr=1-5&keywords=vga+to+hdmi+adapter

    VMWare used to support RealTek NICs in older versions of ESXi, but dropped the support in 5.5 because they had so many problems. That happened to be the same time they dropped support for the Intel 82598 chip (10Gb CX4) for the same reason. You're best off with Intel 82574-82576 adapters, but Broadcom 5709 and 5720 and the more modern Intel (i21X, i340, X520) do work pretty well once configured. (AVOID the Broadcom 5721 or 5722!) I'm running mine with a 82574 1Gb and a X520 (82599) 10Gb. ESXi is remarkably finicky about working with many hardware devices. It's because they aim for enterprise server hardware, and unreliable hardware isn't intended for that purpose. I advise always using server level network adapters, which can usually be found pretty cheap on ebay. The dual port Broadcom 5709 and Intel 82576 adapters can usually be found for under $40, with quad port versions usually under $60. EDIT: I just looked on ebay, and found that dual port Broadcom 5709s can easily be found for under $10! They worked great for my VM hosts for quite a while. I switched to 10Gb a little while back, and I can't remember what I did with those old 5709s.