Marvell 88E8056 and ESXi 4.1

So I have an older development/experimental server that runs couple of VMs on ESXi 4.1. The server’s motherboard (ASUS P5BV-C/4L) is from an old workstation, and it has integrated quad NICs which would be nice to be able to use.. except that the default build of ESXi 4.1 doesn’t see them (even though ESXi 4.1 technically supports Marvell 88E8056 NICs).

There are several pages that discuss the issue extensively, and have a lot of good information on them. Yet another page has a quick low down on how to get the driver properly installed.

However, having not worked on ESXi CLI for some time I had forgotten, for example, that busybox that ESXi uses wipes the root files on every reboot. After a while I recalled (from an old note) that to save changes to the /etc/vmware/ I would need to execute /sbin/ 0 /bootbank/ after making the edits. But even that was unecessary.

One sentence on the brief recap page, would have saved me couple of hours tonight. So here it is: »Just upload the attached oem.tgz into /bootbank folder with scp, then reboot, and you’re done!» And when you do that, you are done – the pre-prepared oem.tgz works perfectly!

Yes, had I known, I would’ve known, but I didn’t. 🙂 Hopefully this saves time for someone else!

4 thoughts on “Marvell 88E8056 and ESXi 4.1”

  1. Dear All,
    i have ESXI 5.1 and i can’t get it installed on my old server!
    where do i have to put the tgz file on the iso?

  2. I got same problem as JAmes, trying to install ESXi 5.1 on Asus P5B deluxe Mobo.
    where do I have to put tgz file on the ISO? Thanks.

  3. @JAmes, @Thanseinoo: No, not on the ISO, but on the installed system. In other words, first install ESXi, enable its SSH shell access (“Enable SSH” under “Troubleshooting Options” in the Yellow and Grey screen), and then transfer the tgz file into ESXi’s /bootbank folder (in the root) with scp or sftp.

    Please note that I wrote this post for 4.1, so I’m not sure if the same driver package will work with 5.1; I haven’t upgraded the dev server yet to 5.1, so I haven’t had to tackle the issue yet myself. Please post the result here if you give it a try – it would be interesting to know if this still works!

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