Adding Realtek 8139 Driver to ESXi6

Posted 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 customizing 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:

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

  • upload offline bundle to EXSi host

  • change EXSi host to maintenance mode

  • SSH to EXSi

    Apply the driver by command:

    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/ –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 the host acceptance level:


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

    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/ –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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