ESXi 5.5: Adding unsupported drivers (Intel 82579LM)

How to install drivers that are not on VMWare’s HCL. This example is for the Intel 82579LM NIC, found on the SuperMicro X9SCM motherboard.

  1. Download tgz from: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27246203/E1001E.tgz
  2. Download “ESXi5 Community Packaging Tools” from: http://esxi-customizer.googlecode.com/files/ESXi5-CPT-v2.2.exe (Latest version link from here)
  3. Install ESXi5-CPT-v2.2.exe
  4. Launch tgz2vib5.cmd.
  5. Complete form as per step 2: http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi5-community-packaging-tools.html
  6. Under “Load presets for”, choose Driver (ESXi 5.5+).
  7. Select “Force repackaging” See notes on packaging options.
  8. Copy created “net-e1001e-1.3.10a-2.x86_64.vib” to ESXi host using WinSCP or DataStore Browser.
  9. On the ESXi host, run:

/vmfs/volumes/DS01 # esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported
/vmfs/volumes/DS01 # cp net-e1001e-1.3.10a-2.x86_64.vib /var/log/vmware/
/vmfs/volumes/DS01 # esxcli software vib install -v net-e1001e-1.3.10a-2.x86_64.vib
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Intel_bootbank_net-e1001e_1.3.10a-2
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:
/vmfs/volumes/DS01 #

Note the copy to /var/log/vmware. Seems odd to me.
10. Reboot
11. Check the drivers are present by running: esxcfg-nics -l
Result:
Name    PCI           Driver      Link Speed     Duplex MAC Address       MTU    Description
vmnic0  0000:02:00.00 e1000e      Up   1000Mbps  Full   00:1f:29:5e:49:d6 1500   Intel Corporation 82571EB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
vmnic1  0000:02:00.01 e1000e      Up   1000Mbps  Full   00:1f:29:5e:49:d7 1500   Intel Corporation 82571EB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
vmnic2  0000:04:00.00 e1000e      Up   1000Mbps  Full   00:25:90:74:3e:be 1500   Intel Corporation 82574L Gigabit Network Connection
vmnic3  0000:00:19.00 e1000e      Up   1000Mbps  Full   00:25:90:74:3e:bf 1500   Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection

References:

Mention of SuperMicro X9SCM:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1607992%20http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11181#p11181%20Works%20wonderfully

From page 20 of this post: http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2194&start=190

Download

There are lots of VIB files around for this NIC, but I couldn’t get any to work. Maybe because it wasn’t set for ESXi 5.5. Download my VIB file here.

Thanks to all that posted to allow me to come to a successful conclusion.

4 thoughts on “ESXi 5.5: Adding unsupported drivers (Intel 82579LM)

  1. Anonymous

    Did you have any issues with esxi 5.5 with detecting the Intel Corporation 82571EB?

  2. Anonymous

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for this how-to, it worked like a charm for my ESXi 5.5 deployment on Jetway NF9E Q77 mini ITX mother board!

    Cheers,
    Vladimir

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