FreeBSD on vmware ESX 3.x

FreeBSDOkay, at work we have a vmware virtual infrastructure (or vmware esx 3.x) setup. It’s a really sweet setup, made up out of four boxes (HP DL385’s) with two dual-core AMD Opteron CPU’s, 16GB of RAM, and a nice 6TB SAN for storage. There’s a windows DL380 for virtual centre, and to manage the snapshots ( ESX Ranger Pro) and Backups, also we have a tape robot hanging around in one of the cabinets for the tape backups.

One thing I didn’t like about this however, was that FreeBSD didn’t run on it. The kernel simply did not recognise the hard disk vmware created for this virtual machine.

Enter FreeBSD 6.2-RC2

Yay! It works! There’s one little snag when installing with the boot-only ISO from FreeBSD, for some reason it doesn’t put the lnc0 network interface in UP mode. (no matter what you try). However, if you install it with disk 1 of the full install set, it works like a charm. I’ve had it running under load for a couple of days now, and I see no problems whatsoever.

For the time being I’m using it to toy around with Cacti perhaps I’ll be able to convince the rest to start using that instead of what we use now. With some luck, I’ll be able to convince them of FreeBSD while I am at it.

2 thoughts on “FreeBSD on vmware ESX 3.x

  1. I upgraded FreeBSD to 6.2-RELEASE, and still no problems.

    Next I’ll experiment with vmware tools, according to vmware, using the tools packaged with VMware Server (formerly GSX) will work perfectly. They are contemplating releasing an official Vmware-tools for 6.2 with ESX/VI.

  2. Someone posted on the vmware forums (which rock in terms of community spirit and quality of information btw) that there’s still one little hiccup, you can’t use SMP and thus it is useless to configure more then one CPU on a Virtual Machine).

    Well, that’s one bug to squash.

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