VMware
VMware ESX Server 1.5.2 Release Notes
  What's New | Requirements | Installation | Documentation | Troubleshooting

New in Version 1.5.2
  • Improved performance for workloads with large numbers of processes such as Citrix Metaframe or Microsoft Terminal Services. This support is enabled by a new configuration variable.Upgrading from ESX Server 1.5 to ESX Server 1.5.2.
  • Enhanced integration with HP Insight Manager and Dell OpenManage. Storage devices shared between the VMkernel and the console operating system are now visible to these management agents.
  • Updated drivers for HP SmartArray, IBM ServeRAID, DAC960, fibre HBAs and Intel Gigabit Ethernet adapters.
  • Patches for all known security vulnerabilities, including patches for latent vulnerabilities.
  • (Patch 5 only) Patches to OpenSSH version 3.5p1, which addresses a CERT advisory for a buffer management vulnerability in the version of OpenSSH included with ESX Server. Details on this advisory are available at: http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2003-24.html
  • Support for Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 as a guest operating system.
  • (Patch 5 only) Support for SuSE Linux 8.1 , SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 , and Windows 2000 - Service Pack 4 as guest operating systems.
  • (Patch 3 and 4, and 5 only) Microsoft Windows Server 2003, SuSE Linux 8.0, and Red Hat Linux 8.0 as guest operating systems.

Technical Notes

Installation Notes

Configuration Notes

Guest Operating System Notes

Operation Notes

Support Requests

Before Upgrading to ESX Server 1.5.2
There are a few steps you should take before you install ESX Server 1.5.2 to ensure the best possible upgrade experience.

  • Resume and shut down suspended virtual machines
    If you plan to use virtual machines created under a previous version of ESX Server, be sure they have been shut down completely before you upgrade.

    If the virtual machine is suspended, resume it in the earlier release, shut down the guest operating system, then power off the virtual machine.

    If you attempt to resume a virtual machine that was suspended under a different VMware product or a different version of ESX Server, a message gives you the choice of discarding or keeping the file that stores the suspended state. To recover the suspended state, you must click Keep, then resume the virtual machine under the correct VMware product. If you click Discard, you can power on normally, but the suspended state is lost.

  • Commit or discard changes to undoable disks
    If you plan to use existing virtual machines that have undoable disks, commit or discard any changes to the virtual disks before you remove the release you used to create them.

    Resume or power on the virtual machine in the earlier release, shut down the guest operating system, power off the virtual machine and either commit or discard changes to the undoable disk when prompted.

  • Back up virtual machines
    As a precaution, back up the virtual machine files -- including the .dsk and .cfg files -- for any existing virtual machines you plan to migrate to ESX Server 1.5.2.

Upgrading from ESX Server 1.5, 1.5.1 or a Prerelease Version of 1.5.2 to ESX Server 1.5.2
To upgrade from ESX Server 1.5, 1.5.1 or a prerelease version of 1.5.2 to ESX Server 1.5.2, use the installation CD-ROM. This is the CD you received from VMware or the CD you created from the ISO image file you downloaded from the VMware site. Or use the upgrade-only tar archive you downloaded from the VMware site.

Caution: The instructions in this section apply only if you are upgrading from ESX Server 1.5, 1.5.1 or a prerelease version of 1.5.2 to ESX Server 1.5.2. If you are upgrading from ESX Server 1.0 or ESX Server 1.1, see the appropriate set of instructions below.

  • Upgrade from CD

    1. Log in as root.
    2. Insert the VMware ESX Server installation CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
    3. Mount the CD-ROM.
      mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
    4. Change directories and run the upgrade script.
      cd /mnt/cdrom
      ./upgrade.pl
    5. You see various messages about the upgrade process.
    6. When prompted, reboot the system. When the system reboots, you are finished upgrading VMware ESX Server.

  • Upgrade from tar archive

    If you are using the downloaded tar archive, note the filename of the download file and make appropriate substitutions in the file and directory names shown below.

    1. Log in as root.
    2. Make a directory named download (or use another name of your choice). This directory must be accessible to the console operating system on the server you want to upgrade.
    3. Save the file esx<xxx>-upgrade.tar.gz to this directory.
    4. Change to the download directory.
    5. Extract the contents of the file.
      tar zxf esx<xxx>-upgrade.tar.gz
    6. Change to the directory esx<xxx>-upgrade.
    7. Run the upgrade script.
      ./upgrade.pl
    8. You see various messages about the upgrade process.
    9. When prompted, reboot the system. When the system reboots, you are finished upgrading VMware ESX Server.

After upgrading your system, review the warnings log file. You can view it from the VMware Management Interface. Log in to the management interface as the root user. Click Configure System. Then, in the Server Management section of the page, click Log File Viewer and open the warnings file. If you see any lines that begin with SysAlert, check the VMware Knowledge Base or contact your support representative for information on how to correct the problem.

Manual Steps to Upgrade from ESX Server 1.5, 1.5.1 or a Prerelease Version of 1.5.2 to ESX Server 1.5.2
If you experience any problems with the upgrade script, you can upgrade manually by following the steps below.

  1. Reboot the machine and choose linux at the LILO prompt.
  2. Insert the VMware ESX Server CD and run the following commands to update the ESX Server software.
    mount /mnt/cdrom
    rpm -Uvh /mnt/cdrom/VMnix-*.rpm
    rpm -Uvh /mnt/cdrom/VMware-esx-*.rpm
    cd /tmp
    cp /mnt/cdrom/VMware-mui-*.tar.gz .
    tar xzf VMware-mui-*.tar.gz
    umount /mnt/cdrom
    cd /tmp/vmware-mui-distrib
    ./vmware-install.pl
  3. Reboot the system by typing reboot.
  4. When the system reboots, go to the configuration pages at
    http://<hostname>/vmware/config
    Go to the Configuration Settings page and click Save Options. ESX Server is configured and the VMkernel is loaded. ESX Server is now fully upgraded. You may also want to look at the other settings (NIC, security, etc.) to make sure that they still have appropriate values.

After upgrading your system, review the warnings log file. You can view it from the VMware Management Interface. Log in to the management interface as the root user. Click Configure System. Then, in the Server Management section of the page, click Log File Viewer and open the warnings file. If you see any lines that begin with SysAlert, check the VMware Knowledge Base or contact your support representative for information on how to correct the problem.

Upgrading from ESX Server 1.1 to ESX Server 1.5.2
To upgrade from ESX Server 1.1 to ESX Server 1.5.2, use the installation CD-ROM.

  1. Insert the VMware ESX Server installation CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Reboot the computer.
  3. At the first installer screen, choose Upgrade from ESX Server 1.0/1.1.
  4. You are asked if you have a driver disk provided by VMware for a device that is not handled by drivers in this release of VMware ESX Server. Choose No and continue with the installation.
  5. If you do not have enough swap space for the new console operating system, the installer asks you where to place a new swap file. Accept the default location unless you have a specific reason for using a different one.
  6. The installer upgrades your VMware ESX Server installation.
  7. When the upgrade completes and displays the final screen, reboot. The machine keeps the device allocations that you previously set up.
  8. After it reboots, from your management workstation use a supported Web browser and go to:
    http://<hostname>/vmware/config
  9. Log in as root, then go to the Network Configuration (Configure System > Network Configuration) and Security Settings (Configure System > Security Settings) pages to ensure that the current settings are appropriate.

    Go to the Boot Configuration page (Configure System > Update Boot Configuration > Edit) and adjust the amount of memory allocated to the console operating system. Change the number to 128MB for managing up to three or four virtual machines. Increase this to 192MB for eight virtual machines, 272MB for 16 virtual machines, 384MB for 32 virtual machines or 512MB for more than 32 virtual machines.

After upgrading your system, review the warnings log file. You can view it from the VMware Management Interface. Log in to the management interface as the root user. Click Configure System. Then, in the Server Management section of the page, click Log File Viewer and open the warnings file. If you see any lines that begin with SysAlert, check the VMware Knowledge Base or contact your support representative for information on how to correct the problem.

Upgrading from ESX Server 1.0 to ESX Server 1.5.2
To upgrade from ESX Server 1.0 to ESX Server 1.5.2, use the installation CD-ROM.

  1. Insert the installation CD into the serverís CD-ROM drive.
  2. Reboot the computer.
  3. At the first installer screen, choose Upgrade from ESX Server 1.0/1.1.
  4. You are asked if you have a driver disk provided by VMware for a device that is not handled by drivers in this release of VMware ESX Server. Choose No and continue with the installation.
  5. If you do not have enough swap space for the new console operating system, the installer asks you where to place a new swap file. Accept the default location unless you have a specific reason for using a different one.
  6. The installer upgrades your VMware ESX Server installation.
  7. When the upgrade completes and displays the final screen, run the Setup Wizard. From your management workstation use a supported Web browser and go to:
    http://<hostname>/
  8. Log in as root, then start the wizard by clicking the Setup Wizard link at the top of the page. Each page of the wizard includes instructions for the actions you need to take there.

    On the Boot Configuration page, adjust the amount of memory allocated to the console operating system. Change the number to 128MB for managing up to three or four virtual machines. Increase this to 192MB for eight virtual machines, 272MB for 16 virtual machines, 384MB for 32 virtual machines or 512MB for more than 32 virtual machines.

    Be sure to enter your new serial number at the appropriate page.

After upgrading your system, review the warnings log file. You can view it from the VMware Management Interface. Log in to the management interface as the root user. Click Configure System. Then, in the Server Management section of the page, click Log File Viewer and open the warnings file. If you see any lines that begin with SysAlert, check the VMware Knowledge Base or contact your support representative for information on how to correct the problem.

Security Updates in Version 1.5.2
All known security issues have been addressed in version 1.5.2.

Security auditing procedures based solely on version numbers may indicate a few issues, even though those issues have been addressed. The following packages are affected:

  • glibc 2.2.4-30 - Red Hat patch has been applied but does not change the version number - fixes a buffer overflow in the resolver; a buffer overflow in the XDR decoder; a buffer overflow vulnerability in the way the glibc resolver handles the resolution of network names and addresses via DNS; a bug in the glibc-compat packages, which provide compatibility for applications compiled against glibc version 2.0.x; and an overflowable buffer that exists in earlier versions of glibc glob(3) implementation (the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project [http://cve.mitre.org] has assigned the name CAN-2001-0886 to this issue)
  • wuftpd 2.6.1-20 - Red Hat patch has been applied but does not change the version number - fixes an overflowable buffer

Avoiding Interrupt Conflicts that Sometimes Block Installation
In some hardware configurations, installation of the ESX Server software fails because devices do not properly share interrupts. Commonly, this is an issue only during installation. Once the software is installed and configured, some of the contending devices are assigned for use by virtual machines and there is no longer a conflict between devices used by the ESX Server console operating system.

To work around the problem so you can install and configure ESX Server, use a special boot option when the system first boots from the installation CD.

When the boot: prompt appears, enter esx apic at the prompt.

This enables APIC mode, which bypasses the interrupt conflict problem and allows you to proceed with installation and configuration of the system.

Note: Immediately after you finish installing the software, log in to the server with a Web browser and configure the system. You must not reboot the system before you begin configuration. During configuration, be sure to assign appropriate devices for use by virtual machines.

If device conflicts persist, you must identify the contending devices and resolve the conflicts in some other way, such as removing devices or installing them in different slots on the bus.

To view a list of the console operating system IRQs and devices, at the server's keyboard press Alt-F2 to switch to a command console, then enter cat /proc/interrupts.

Installing VMware ESX Server 1.5.2 on a 16-way IBM xSeries 440
To install and configure ESX Server, use a special boot option when the system first boots from the installation CD.

When the boot: prompt appears, enter esx apic at the prompt.

This enables APIC mode, which allows you to proceed with installation and configuration of the system.

Note: Immediately after you finish installing the software, log in to the server with a Web browser and configure the system. You must not reboot the system before you begin configuration. During configuration, be sure to assign appropriate devices for use by virtual machines.

All of the devices located in the secondary node or in Lookout units must be assigned for use only by virtual machines. Devices in the primary node may be used by the console operating system or by virtual machines or may be shared.

For detailed instructions for installing on a 16-way IBM xSeries 440, see the following page on the IBM Web site: http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=psg1MIGR-44890

Installing VMware ESX Server 1.5.2 on a HP ProLiant DL760 G2 Server
If you are installing VMware ESX Server 1.5.2 on a HP ProLiant DL760 G2 server, you may see an incorrect message, stating memory controllers are not supported by the console operating system. (ESX Server is performing a compatibility test on storage and network controllers. However, it is compatible with all memory controllers.)

The incorrect message is similar to the following, and appears early in the installation process:

In the Unknown PCI devices screen:

Bus Slot Func VenId DevId SubvenId SubdevId Class
00 01 0 0e11 b200 0ell 002 Memory Controller
00 01 1 0e11 b200 0ell b200 Memory Controller

Ignore any messages you see in this screen about memory controllers and continue with your installation.

Installing HP Insight Management Agents on the Console Operating System
ESX Server 1.5.2 provides a script for installing the HP Insight Management Agents on the console operating system. To install the software, follow these steps:

  1. Download the HP RPMS files listed below from the following location.

    ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/products/servers/supportsoftware/linux/redhat/

    • cmafdtn-6.00.0-6.i386.rpm
    • cmanic-6.00.0-2.i386.rpm
    • cmastor-6.00.0-3.i386.rpm
    • cmasvr-6.00.0-4.i386.rpm
    • cpqhealth-3.2.0-6.Redhat7_3.i386.rpm
    • ucd-snmp-4.2.3-1.7.2.3cmaX.2.i386.rpm
    • ucd-snmp-utils-4.2.3-1.7.2.3cmaX.2.i386.rpm

  2. Copy these seven files to a directory of your choice on the console operating system of the computer where you want to install the HP Insight Management Agents. This example assumes you have copied the files to a directory named /download.

  3. Log on to the console operating system as the root user and change to the /download directory.
    cd /download

  4. Run the installation script.
    /usr/sbin/cmasetup.sh install

  5. Reboot the computer when the script tells you to do so.

Installing Dell OpenManage 3.2 on the Console Operating System
Before installing the Dell OpenManage software on the ESX Server console operating system, you must install some additional files as described below.

To install OpenManage 3.2, you need

  • Your ESX Server 1.5 or ESX Server 1.5.x installation CD
  • If you upgraded an ESX Server 1.5 or 1.5.1 installation to 1.5.2, the files from the tar archive used for the upgrade
  • The Dell OpenManage 3.2 installation CD

  1. Log in to the console operating system as root.
  2. Insert the ESX Server 1.5 or 1.5.x CD in the CD-ROM drive and mount it.
    mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
  3. Change to the directory where the RPM files are stored.
    cd /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS
  4. Install the kernel source files from the CD.
    rpm -ivh kernel-source-2.4.9-13.i386.rpm
  5. If you are using an ESX Server 1.5.2 CD, perform the next step from the same directory. If you upgraded an ESX Server 1.5 or 1.5.1 installation, change to the directory where you unpacked the upgrade files.
  6. Force install the support files needed to run OpenManage.
    rpm -ivh --force VMware-openmanagesupport-0.1-2.i386.rpm
  7. Eject the ESX Server CD.
    eject cdrom
  8. Insert the Dell OpenManage 3.2 CD.
  9. Follow the Dell instructions for installing OpenManage 3.2.

Dell OpenManage can detect devices that are shared between the console operating system and virtual machines, run diagnostic tests on them and, in general, perform most operations it can on any console operating system device. OpenManage cannot detect devices assigned exclusively for use by virtual machines.

Note: If you want to use both the Dell OpenManage SNMP agent and the standard ESX Server SNMP daemon on the same server, you must configure the ESX Server daemon so it does not use the default port (161/UDP). To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Log in to the console operating system as the root user.
  2. Find a UDP port lower than 1024 that is not already in use. All ports that are already assigned are listed in /etc/services.
  3. In a text editor, open the file /etc/rc.d/init.d/vmware-snmpd. Find the line that begins with OPTIONS=. Inside the quotation marks that follow, add a space and -p <PORTNUM> where <PORTNUM> is the number of the port you want the ESX Server SNMP daemon to use. For example, if you want to use port 560 and the OPTIONS line currently is
    OPTIONS="-C -c $CONFFILE -P $PIDFILE"
    change it to OPTIONS="-C -c $CONFFILE -P $PIDFILE -p 560"

Using Fibre Channel Adapters with a SAN
Disks on a SAN seen through a Fibre Channel adapter are often displayed first in the installer and may cause confusion when the ESX Server installer is installing the server console on the boot disk.

Ensure that all Fibre Channel adapters (QLogic or Emulex) are NOT attached to the SAN.

Dedicate Fibre Channel Adapters to Virtual Machines

Fibre Channel storage adapters must be assigned for use exclusively by virtual machines. They cannot be shared by virtual machines and the console operating system.

If you attempt to share a QLogic or Emulex Fibre Channel storage adapter, ESX Server may fail to boot.

Configuring Network Speed and Duplex Settings
When you use the VMware Management Interface to configure network settings for the Ethernet adapters assigned to virtual machines, you now see the actual speed and duplex settings for each adapter. If the adapter is configured to Autonegotiate, these settings are those automatically negotiated by the adapter. If these settings are not appropriate, choose the settings you want from the drop-down list under Configured Speed/Duplex, then click Update Network Configuration.

Configuring a Virtual Machine for Use with Citrix MetaFrame XP
If you are using a Windows 2000 virtual machine as a MetaFrame XP server, be sure you are using FR1 or FR2, then take the steps described below. If you are running MetaFrame XP in a Windows NT virtual machine, no special steps are needed.

  1. Apply Citrix hotfix XE102W014.
    For a download link and instructions on applying the hotfix, go to the Citrix Web site (http://www.citrix.com), navigate to the support section and search for XE102W014.
  2. Manually add a line to the virtual machine's configuration file. At the top of the Edit Configuration page, click Use Text Editor, then add the following line:
    workload="TerminalServices"
    Click Save Changes to save the configuration file.

For additional information on performance tuning, see article ID 869 in the VMware knowledge base.

Configuring a Virtual Machine for Use with Microsoft Windows Terminal Services
If you are using a Windows 2000 virtual machine as a Microsoft Windows Terminal Services server, you should make one change to the virtual machine's configuration file.

Manually add a line to the virtual machine's configuration file. At the top of the Edit Configuration page, click Use Text Editor, then add the following line:
workload="TerminalServices"
Click Save Changes to save the configuration file.

When to Use VMFS Accessibility Options of Public or Shared
When configuring a VMFS file system -- either during initial system configuration or afterwards, using the VMware Management Interface -- you specify a setting for VMFS accessibility. The options are:

  • Private -- used for any VMFS partition that is accessible only from one ESX Server computer.
  • Public -- makes the VMFS partition available to multiple physical servers and to virtual machines on those servers, but only to a single server at a time (see the note below).
  • Shared -- intended for failover-based clustering among virtual machines on multiple ESX Server computers.

Note: If you set the VMFS accessibility to Public or Shared, the VMFS file system is not automatically mounted under /vmfs on the console operating system. This change in behavior is intended to avoid conflict, since at most one ESX Server machine can access a particular VMFS file system at a time. However, on any particular host, you can mount the VMFS on /vmfs via an explicit command if no other host is currently accessing that VMFS. For example, to mount the VMFS at vmhba1:2:0:1, execute this command on the console operating system as the super-user:

mount-vmfs vmhba1:2:0:1

To attempt to mount all VMFS file systems, regardless of whether they are configured as Shared, Public or Private, execute this command:

mount-vmfs -f

Removing Disk Partitions Using Expert Mode fdisk
Be careful about removing a disk partition in the Expert Mode Fdisk section of the Edit Disk Partitions configuration page.

If you choose to delete a partition using expert mode fdisk, be careful to remove partitions in reverse order of their listing. That is, you should not delete a partition if there is another partition still following it on the disk.

There is a known issue in VMware ESX Server if you delete a partition when there is another partition still following it on the disk. When you delete a partition, the starting sector of the following partition may be incorrectly changed. This makes the data in that second partition inaccessible. If the following partition is a VMFS partition, the VMFS files in that partition become inaccessible.

If this problem arises, re-create the deleted partition immediately -- before making any further changes to the partition table. When the deleted partition is re-created, the partition following it is again completely accessible.

Using IBM FAStT Disk Arrays
An IBM FAStT disk array sometimes returns vendor-specific status codes that ESX Server interprets as errors. These status codes are temporary -- indicating, for example, that the firmware has been upgraded or that the battery for the disk cache needs to be charged.

ESX Server, in its default configuration, may interpret these status codes to mean that a LUN exists but is not accessible.

You avoid this problem by setting a special ESX Server 1.5.2 configuration option. Log in to the management interface as the root user, click Configure System, then click VMkernel Configuration. Find the option DiskRetryUnitAttention and enable it.

When this option is enabled, ESX Server automatically retries SCSI commands when these vendor-specific status codes are received.

Editing the vmware-devices.map.local File
The /etc/vmware/vmware-devices.map file contains a list of devices supported by ESX Server. This release includes support for a local version of this file, /etc/vmware/vmware-devices.map.local.

Modify the vmware-devices.map.local to select different device drivers. This file is not modified during an ESX Server upgrade, preserving your customizations.

The vmware-devices.map.local is read when the VMkernel is loaded:

  • Any changes to the vmware-devices.map.local file require a reboot, or at least an unload/reload of the VMkernel to take effect.
  • Entries in the vmware-devices.map.local files are used in addition to the entries in the vmware-devices.map file. The vmware-devices.map.local file does not need to mirror the vmware-devices.map file.
  • Any vmware-devices.map.local file entries that correspond to the vmware-devices.map file entries supercede the vmware-devices.map file entries.

Using Failover Support in New Drivers for QLogic Storage Adapters
This release includes two new drivers for QLogic SANblade Fibre Channel adapters.

  • qla2200.o -- supports 2200 series adapters
  • qla2300.o -- supports 2300 series adapters

A failover configuration using these drivers on ESX Server 1.5.2 has the following characteristics:

  • Failover is supported only on two adapters, where the second is a failover adapter for the first one.
  • The two adapters in the failover configuration must use the same driver. That is, both must be 2200 series adapters or both must be 2300 series adapters. You cannot use one 2200 series adapter and one 2300 series adapter.
  • The two cards must see exactly the same targets.
  • Load balancing is not supported; the second adapter is not used unless the first one fails.
  • The new drivers automatically provide failover support. No manual configuration is needed.
  • For the IBM ESS and FAStT disk arrays, you can have a maximum of 2 connections from the switch to the storage device. For other disk arrays, you can have only 1 connection to the storage device.

You need the failover driver only if you need the failover function (supported only with two 2200 series adapters or two 2300 series adapters).

Note: If you need one of the failover drivers for any of your adapters for any reason, you should not use it together with the default qla2x00 driver. You must use the new drivers entirely or not at all, except as described in the following note.

Note: As the new drivers do not support 2100 series adapters, you cannot assign a 2100 series adapter for use by virtual machines and simultaneously use the new driver for 2200 or 2300 series adapters assigned to virtual machines. You can, however, assign a 2100 series adapter for use only by the console operating system, then use the new driver for 2200 or 2300 series adapters assigned exclusively for use by virtual machines. To do so, use the management interface to allocate the 2100 series adapter to the console operating system and the other adapters to the virtual machines before installing the failover drivers as described below.

Take the following steps to install the failover drivers:

  1. If you installed more than one adapter that you intend to use in the failover configuration, do not connect a cable to the second adapter during the ESX Server software installation or steps 2-5 below. You should attach the cable just before or during rebooting in step 6 below.

    Log in to the VMware Management Interface as root, click Configure System, then click Allocate Devices. Be sure the adapters are assigned for use only by the virtual machines. If you make any changes, click Save Configuration.

  2. Use a text editor on the console operating system to edit (or create, if it does not already exist) the /etc/vmware/vmware-devices.map.local file. Add these lines:
    device,0x1077,0x2200,vmhba,QLA2200,qla2200.o
    device,0x1077,0x2300,vmhba,QLA2300,qla2300.o
    device,0x1077,0x2312,vmhba,QLA2300,qla2300.o

  3. Save the file.

  4. Use the management interface to allocate all QLogic 2200 or 2300 series adapters for use by virtual machines. (Click Configure System, then Allocate Devices.)

  5. Be sure to click Save Configuration even if nothing changed.

  6. Reboot the system. If you have extra adapters for failover, you can attach the cables for these adapters now -- just before or during the reboot.

To verify that the adapters' links to the SAN are up, check the LEDs on the SAN device. For details, see the documentation for your SAN device.

To verify that the failover configuration is working properly, initiate activity in a virtual machine that will read from or write to the storage devices for a period of time, then disconnect the cable from the first adapter. The second adapter should pick up the data transfer after a very brief delay. The virtual machine will see I/O errors when the cable is disconnected, and the virtual machine may stop responding to input such as mouse movement for about 5 seconds. No disk or network data is lost during this timeout, and data transfers will resume after the second adapter becomes active.

The following guest operating systems have been tested by VMware and are supported in failover configurations:

  • Supported Windows 2000 guests with Service Pack 2
  • Supported Windows NT 4.0 guests with Service Pack 6a

Using the Recommended Failover Drivers for IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (Shark) Systems
If you are using QLogic storage adapters with IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (Shark) systems in failover configurations, you should use a special driver for the QLogic adapter.

Take the following steps to install the recommended failover drivers:

  1. If you installed more than one adapter that you intend to use in the failover configuration, do not connect a cable to the second adapter during the ESX Server software installation or steps 2-5 below. You should attach the cable just before or during rebooting in step 6 below.

    Log in to the VMware Management Interface as root, click Configure System, then click Allocate Devices. Be sure the adapters are assigned for use only by the virtual machines. If you make any changes, click Save Configuration.

  2. Use a text editor on the console operating system to edit (or create, if it does not already exist) the /etc/vmware/vmware-devices.map.local file. Add these lines:
    device,0x1077,0x2200,vmhba,QLA2200,qla2xxx/qla2200.o
    device,0x1077,0x2300,vmhba,QLA2300,qla2xxx/qla2300.o
    device,0x1077,0x2312,vmhba,QLA2300,qla2xxx/qla2300.o

  3. Save the file.

  4. Use the management interface to allocate all QLogic 2200 or 2300 series adapters for use by virtual machines. (Click Configure System, then Allocate Devices.)

  5. Be sure to click Save Configuration even if nothing changed.

  6. Reboot the system. If you have extra adapters for failover, you can attach the cables for these adapters now -- just before or during the reboot.

To verify that the adapters' links to the SAN are up, check the LEDs on the SAN device. For details, see the documentation for your SAN device.

To verify that the failover configuration is working properly, initiate activity in a virtual machine that will read from or write to the storage devices for a period of time, then disconnect the cable from the first adapter. The second adapter should pick up the data transfer after a very brief delay. The virtual machine will see I/O errors when the cable is disconnected, and the virtual machine may stop responding to input such as mouse movement for about 5 seconds. No disk or network data is lost during this timeout, and data transfers will resume after the second adapter becomes active.

Note: The MUI may issue a warning (even after you installed the failover driver): Missing qla2xxx/qla2300.o module. Because this driver is needed to load a SCSI or RAID adapter, you may not be able to use some disks until this module is loaded. To load this module manually, type at the shell prompt: '/usr/sbin/vmkload_mod' /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/qla2xxx/qla2300.o vmhba

The following guest operating systems have been tested by VMware and are supported in failover configurations:

  • Supported Windows 2000 guests with Service Pack 2
  • Supported Windows NT 4.0 guests with Service Pack 6a

IBM FAStT and "Shark" BIOS settings
If you are using an IBM FAStT or "Shark" storage adapter in a failover configuration with ESX Server 1.5.2, you should change one setting in the adapter's BIOS.

Change the value of Port Down Retry Count to 8.

Using New Drivers for Smart Array Storage Controllers
ESX Server 1.5.2 installs updated drivers for a number of Smart Array storage controllers, used in ProLiant servers from HP and Compaq.

  • The cciss driver supports Smart Array 5i, Smart Array 5i+, Smart Array 532, Smart Array 5300 and Smart Array 5312 controllers, including the Smart Array 5302 and Smart Array 5304.

  • The cpqarray driver supports the Smart Array 431, Smart Array 4200, Smart Array 4250ES, RAID LC2, Smart Array 221, Smart Array 3200, Smart Array 3100ES, Smart Array 2P, Smart Array 2SL and Integrated Smart Array controllers.

Under ESX Server, these drivers can be used for disk drive arrays; however, adding and deleting logical volumes on the fly are not supported. The drivers cannot be used with tape drives.

Setting Options that Control the Scanning of LUNs
There are two VMkernel configuration options that affect the way ESX Server scans for individual LUNs on disk arrays.

To change these settings, log in to the management interface for the server and click Configure System. On the VMware ESX Server Configuration page, click VMkernel Configuration. On the VMkernel Configuration page, look for the DiskMaxLUN option. The range of LUNs scanned is 0 to DiskMaxLUN-1. The default value is 8, but you may want to change it to something like 128 if you have high-numbered LUNs. To change the value, click the current value.

Also, look for the DiskSupportSparseLUN option. The default value is 0, which means that scanning for LUNs on a particular devices stops when the current LUN being scanned is not found. If you change the value to 1, scanning for LUNs will always continue to DiskMaxLUN-1 on each device, even if there are missing LUNs during the scanning.

These options can significantly increase the time for starting up the VMkernel during boot, because much more scanning for LUNs is required. You should therefore use "sparse scanning" only if necessary, and you should set DiskMaxLUN to be only as large as is needed to see all the LUNs required.

Disk Error Messages on Windows Guests in a Clustering Configuration
When Windows virtual machines are configured in a clustering setup (for example, using MSCS), some disk errors are recorded in the Windows event log in normal operation. These error messages have a format similar to

The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Scsi\BusLogic3

They should be reported periodically only on the passive node of the cluster and should also be reported when the passive node is taking over during a failover. The errors are reported because the active node of the cluster has reserved the shared virtual disk. The passive node periodically probes the shared disk and receives a SCSI reservation conflict error.

For more details on setting up clustering with ESX Server, see the technical note Configuration for Clustering (PDF format).

Adding More than Six SCSI Virtual Disks to a Virtual Machine
You can add up to six virtual SCSI disks to a virtual machine using the VMware Management Interface. To do so, log in to the management interface as a user with rights to configure the virtual machine, click the link under the virtual machine's name, then click Edit VM Configuration. Make the settings you want, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

To add more than six disks, you must edit the virtual machine's configuration file by hand. At the top of the Edit Configuration page, click Use Text Editor. Device ID 7 is used by the SCSI controller, so you cannot use that ID for a virtual disk. For each disk you want to add from ID 8 through ID 15, take the following steps.

  1. Scroll down to the section headed SCSI devices.
  2. Add a three-line entry in the following format:
    scsi0:8.present = "TRUE"
    scsi0:8.name = "<vmfsname>:<diskfilename>.dsk"
    scsi0:8.mode = "persistent"
    In these entries, scsi0 refers to the first SCSI controller and 8 is the device ID. The value of scsi0:8.mode can be persistent, undoable, nonpersistent or append.
  3. Click Save Changes.

Using a Physical Disk in a Virtual Machine
In some configurations, you may want to give a virtual machine direct access to a physical disk partition, rather than using a virtual disk stored as a file on a VMFS. This can be useful, for example, if the virtual machine needs shared access to data stored on a physical disk.

In order for the virtual machine to access a physical disk, you must manually edit the configuration file. This example assumes that the virtual machine's first disk is a virtual disk and you are adding the physical disk as the second disk.

  1. Log in to the VMware Management Interface as the user who will own the virtual machine.
  2. Click the name of the virtual machine to which you want to add the physical disk.
  3. Click Edit Configuration.
  4. Click Use Text Editor.
  5. Scroll down to the ### Ethernet Devices section and add the following lines above it:

    scsi1.present = "TRUE"
    scsi1.virtualDev = "vmxbuslogic"

    # This is one disk on the virtual machine mapped directly
    # to a physical disk.
    scsi1:1.present = "TRUE"
    scsi1:1.name = "vmhba0:0:4:0"
    scsi1:1.mode = "persistent"

    Here, scsi1:1.name = vmhba0:0:4:0 means that the virtual disk is actually the entire physical disk (LUN) at LUN 4, target 0 on adapter vmhba0. The final :0 indicates that you are specifying the entire disk, rather than a particular partition.

  6. Click Save Changes.

Forcing Network Adapters on the Console Operating System to Use Full Duplex Mode
If the network adapter being used by the console operating system is not running in full duplex mode and you want to force it into that mode, you can do so by adding the appropriate parameters to the file /etc/modules.conf. If you want to load the module manually, note that insmod does not read /etc/modules.conf, so you need to use modprobe to pick up parameters specified in that file. Always specify the module name (such as 3c59x) -- not the alias (such as eth0) -- on an options line.

Sample options lines:

Force the first 3c59x card to 100Full.
options 3c59x full_duplex=1 options=4

Force the first acenic card to 1000Full.
options acenic=0x242

Force the first bcm5700 card to 1000Full.
options bcm5700 line_speed=1000 auto_speed=0 full_duplex=1

Force the first e100 card to 100Full.
options e100 e100_speed_duplex=4

Force the first e1000 card to 1000Full.
options e1000 Speed=1000 Duplex=2

Using Parallel Ports in a Virtual Machine
To connect the virtual machine's first parallel port (LPT1) to the physical computer's first parallel port, take the following steps:

  1. Reboot the physical computer and enter the BIOS setup. Typically, you do so by pressing F2 or Delete while the machine is booting. Find the parallel port mode setting and set it to PS/2. (The typical choices are AT and PS/2.) If PS/2 is not available as an option, set it to bidirectional.

  2. Log on to the console operating system as root and enter the following commands:

    /sbin/insmod parport
    /sbin/insmod parport_pc
    /sbin/insmod ppdev

    Type lsmod and confirm that these modules are in the listing of loaded modules.

    To make these changes permanent, add the three lines shown above to the end of the file /etc/rc.d/rc.local.

  3. Be sure the virtual machine is shut down and powered off, then add the following lines to the virtual machine's configuration (.cfg) file:

    parallel0.present = TRUE
    parallel0.fileName = "/dev/parport0"
    parallel0.bidirectional = TRUE

  4. Be sure the virtual machine is using virtual hardware version 6. Look for the following line in the configuration file:

    config.version = 6

    This line should already be present in the configuration file for any virtual machine created with ESX Server 1.5.x. If the virtual machine was created under a previous version of ESX Server and has not already been updated, add the config.version = 6 line to the configuration file.

    Note: When the virtual machine starts after you update the virtual hardware version, you see a dialog box with the message "The CMOS of this virtual machine is incompatible with the current version of VMware ESX Server. A new CMOS with default values will be used instead." Click OK. As the virtual machine starts, the guest operating system may detect new virtual hardware and install drivers for it. Respond to any messages as you would if upgrading the hardware on a physical computer.

  5. Start the virtual machine using the remote console. As it starts to boot, click inside the remote console window, then press F2 to enter the virtual machine's BIOS setup. Go to the Advanced I/O Device Configuration section and configure the parallel port mode for the virtual machine to bidirectional.

Now your virtual machine can use a dongle or other parallel port device.

Note: As you start the virtual machine, you may see a message warning that the parallel port is starting disconnected. If you do, connect to the virtual machine with a remote console and use the remote console's Devices menu to connect the parallel port.

Note: Only one operating system can be connected to the parallel port at one time. You cannot configure more than one virtual machine to use a particular parallel port at a given time.

Using Serial Ports in a Virtual Machine
To connect the virtual machine's first serial port (COM1) to the physical computer's first serial port, edit the virtual machine's configuration file. You may do so using the text editor in the VMware Management Interface or a text editor on the console operating system.

Be sure the virtual machine is shut down and powered off, then add the following lines to the configuration file:

serial0.present = true
serial0.fileType = "device"
serial0.fileName = "/dev/ttyS0"

When you power on the virtual machine, you can configure the serial port in the guest operating system.

When the virtual machine is running, you can use the Devices menu on the remote console to connect and disconnect its serial port.

You may also control whether the virtual machine starts with its serial port connected to the physical computer's serial port. To set the first serial port so it is connected when the virtual machine starts, add the following line to the configuration file:

serial0.startConnected = true

To reconfigure the virtual machine so it starts with the first serial port disconnected, either remove the line or change it to:

serial0.startConnected = false

Note: Only one operating system can be connected to the serial port at one time. You cannot configure more than one virtual machine to use a particular serial port at a given time.

To use additional serial ports, use a higher number in the lines you add to the configuration file.

Changing the number after serial affects the serial port that is available inside the virtual machine. Changing the number after /dev/ttyS affects the port that is used on your physical computer. For example, to connect the virtual machine's second serial port (COM2) to the physical computer's second serial port, add the following lines to the configuration file:

serial1.present = true
serial1.fileType = "device"
serial1.fileName = "/dev/ttyS1"

Running a Windows 2000 SP3 Guest Operating System
A Windows 2000 guest with Service Pack 3 installed may fail to boot. A user interface failure message appears, saying "The Logon User Interface DLL msgina.dll failed to load." To work around this problem, be sure the virtual machine is not running, then use a text editor to add the following line to the virtual machine's configuration file:

MAGICBOOT1 = 700

If a value of 700 (representing 700 microseconds) does not enable you to start the guest operating system, experiment with higher values. Increase the number to 800 for the second try, 900 for the third try and so on until the guest starts.

For faster boot times, you may also experiment with values between 1 and 700 to find the smallest value that allows the virtual machine to boot.

Message About "Tainted" Drivers in Red Hat Linux 8.0 Guest Operating Systems
When a Red Hat Linux 8.0 guest operating system loads the vmxnet networking driver, it reports that the driver is tainted. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with the driver. It simply indicates that this is a proprietary driver, not licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Mouse Response is Slow in Windows Server 2003

Description:
In the Windows Server 2003 guest operating system, the mouse response is slow and jerky.

Action:
Complete the following steps. Your virtual machine should be powered on and running.

  1. Right-click the desktop and choose Properties.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Click the Troubleshooting tab.
  5. Drag the bar for Hardware acceleration from None to Full.
  6. Click OK to close the first dialog, and OK again, to close the second dialog.

Fixing Intermittent Networking Failures in Windows Guest Operating Systems

Description:
You have experienced intermittent networking failures in your virtual machine running Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003 guest operating system. This virtual machine uses the vmxnet networking driver.

Action:
You need to upgrade your vmxnet driver. Refer to the proper set of instructions for new virtual machines or existing virtual machines.

New Virtual Machines

If you are creating a new virtual machine with a Windows guest operating system, then first create your virtual machine, selecting the vmxnet driver. Once you have created the new virtual machine, then complete the following steps.

  1. Power on the virtual machine.

  2. When you log into Windows, a Found New Hardware: Ethernet Controller message appears. Then the Found New Hardware Wizard appears. Click Next.

  3. Click Display a list of the known drivers for this device so that I can choose a specific driver, then click Next.

  4. In the Hardware Types list, select Network adapters, then click Next.

  5. Ready the VMware Tools CD-ROM ISO image. In the VMware console (application) window, select Settings > VMware Tools Install, then click Install.

  6. In the Found New Hardware Wizard, click Have Disk.

  7. Browse to the vmxnet driver information file. By default, it's located in D:\vmnet\win2k (Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003) or D:\vmnet\winnt (Windows NT).

  8. After you select the file, you return to the Found New Hardware Wizard. VMwarePCI Ethernet Adapter is selected. Click Next.

  9. Click Next to begin installing the driver.

  10. Click Yes to acknowledge that the digital signature was not found.

  11. Click Finish.

  12. In the console window, select Settings > Cancel VMware Tools Install.

    If you check the Driver File Details for the virtual machine's network adapter, you will see that the VMware PCI Ethernet Adapter is pointing to vmxnet.sys.

Existing Virtual Machine

If you have an existing virtual machine with a Windows guest operating system, then complete the following steps to upgrade your vmxnet driver:

  1. Shut down the guest operating system and power off the virtual machine.

  2. If necessary, edit the virtual machine's configuration and select the vmxnet NIC in the VMware Management Interface.

  3. Save your changes.

  4. Power on the virtual machine. After logging into Windows, chooseStart > Settings > Network and Dial-up Connections.

  5. Right-click on the adapter name and select Properties.

  6. In the General tab, click Configure.

  7. In the Driver tab, click Update Driver. The Welcome to the Upgrade Device Driver Wizard appears.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Click Display a list of the known drivers for this device so that I can choose a specific driver, then click Next.

  10. In the Hardware Types list, select Network adapters, then click Next.

  11. Ready the VMware Tools CD-ROM ISO image. In the VMware console (application) window, select Settings > VMware Tools Install, then click Install.

  12. In the Wizard, click Have Disk.

  13. Browse to the vmxnet driver information file. By default, it's located in D:\vmnet\win2k (Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003) or D:\vmnet\winnt (Windows NT).

  14. After you select the file, you return to the Found New Hardware Wizard. VMwarePCI Ethernet Adapter is selected. Click Next.

  15. Click Next to begin installing the driver.

  16. Click Yes to acknowledge that the digital signature was not found.

  17. Click Finish.

  18. In the console window, select Settings > Cancel VMware Tools Install.

    If you check the Driver File Details for the virtual machine's network adapter, you will see that the VMware PCI Ethernet Adapter is pointing to vmxnet.sys.

Tape Drives Are Not Supported with IBM ServeRAID RAID Controllers
The ESX Server driver, that is based on the Linux ips version 5.11 driver, only supports logical devices. Physical devices, such as tape drives, are not supported.

Viewing Log Files on the ESX Server Computer
Log files for VMware ESX Server 1.5.2 are stored in new locations. Messages from the VMkernel are stored in /var/log/vmkernel. VMkernel warnings and the more serious system alerts are stored in /var/log/vmkwarning.

You can view these log files from the VMware Management Interface. Log in to the management interface as the root user. Click Configure System. Then, in the Server Management section of the page, click Log File Viewer.

Viewing the Full List of Help Topics on a Linux Management Workstation
If you launch help from the remote console on a Linux management workstation and click Contents, you see an abbreviated list of topics. To see the full list of topics, click the Help Index link at the bottom of the Contents page.

An Attempt to Login to the VMware Management Interface May Fail After a Long Wait with the Message "Connection lost: Connection terminated by server"
If you encounter this error, you must restart the HTTP daemon. Log in to the console operating system (either at the ESX server machine or over a Telnet or SSH link) and issue this command:
/etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd.vmware restart

The Remote Console May be Disconnected or Show Errors When the ESX Server Machine is Under Heavy Load
This behavior helps protect the virtual machines and the ESX Server software from failure. If you encounter this problem, wait until the load on the server decreases, then reconnect the remote console to the virtual machine.

  • Suspending a Virtual Machine With More than 2GB of Memory is Not Supported

    Suspending a Virtual Machine With More than 2GB of Memory is Not Supported
    ESX Server 1.5.2 does not support suspending a virtual machine with more than 2GB of memory.

    Submitting Support Requests to VMware
    When requesting support for ESX Server 1.5.x, please run the script vm-support that is installed in /usr/lib/vmware and provide the output file to VMware. The vm-support script collects and packages all relevant system and configuration information and logs. We need the information contained in this file to properly analyze the problem you are encountering. Also, please provide the output of the command vmware -v, which displays the version number and patch level of the ESX Server software on your machine.

    Release 1.5.2 Patches
    Click Here