Adding Realtek 8139 Driver to ESXi6

Posted by Blog - uTIcARdI on November 29, 2016

Note: This is not an official guide, backup is required before you apply the driver.

My Dell PC has two NICs:

  1. Intel I217-LM
  2. Realtek RTl-8139

and #2 Realtek 8139 is not supported by VMware EXSi.

There are some guides about customize EXSi installation ISO to support the NIC, but I’m trying to find a way to apply the driver without reinstall EXSi.

Here is a page which contains many NIC drivers: https://vibsdepot.v-front.de/wiki/index.php/List_of_currently_available_ESXi_packages

  • Download the offline bunlde driver for Realteck 8139 and follow the instruction

    http://www.vladan.fr/patch-esxi-5-5-to-esxi-6-0/

  • upload offline bundle to EXSi host

  • change EXSi host to maintance mode

  • SSH to EXSi

    Apply the driver by command:

    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/net-r8139too-0.9.28-1-offline_bundle.zip –no-sig-check
    

    you might get the prompt:

    VIB Realtek_bootbank_net-r8139too_0.9.28-1’s acceptance level is community, which is not compliant with the ImageProfile acceptance level partner
    To change the host acceptance level, use the ‘esxcli software acceptance set’ command.
    
  • Change the Host Acceptance Level

    Follow the instruction to update host acceptance level:

    https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.install.doc%2FGUID-6A3AD878-5DE9-4C38-AC86-78CAEED0F710.html

    Command:

    esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported
    
  • Apply the driver again:

    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/net-r8139too-0.9.28-1-offline_bundle.zip –no-sig-check
    

    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: Realtek_bootbank_net-r8139too_0.9.28-1
    VIBs Removed:
    VIBs Skipped:
    
  • Reboot EXSi host and Exit maintenance mode

The NIC can be recognized by VMware now:

All Set.
All Set.

Adding Realtek 8139 Driver to ESXi6


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