ESX Server 2.5.4 Release Notes

Check back frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

Version 2.5.4 | 10/05/06 | Build 32233

Last Document Update: October 5, 2006

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

What's New

Guest Operating Systems
Support for the following additional guest operating systems:

  • Free BSD 4.11
  • Novell Open Enterprise Server Support Pack 2
  • Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 3.0 Update 8
  • Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 4.0 Update 4
  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 with Update Roll-up 1

Note: The Red Hat hugemem kernel is not supported in ESX Server 2.x. For more information, refer to KB article 8964517.

A VMware Tools update is available for FreeBSD guest operating systems. For installation instructions, please refer to the ESX Server 2.x Administration Guide at http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/esx_pubs.html.

Systems Support
Support for systems based on the Intel Xeon 5000 and 5100 series of processors. For specific details of which vendor models are supported, please refer to the ESX Server 2.x Systems Compatibility Guide.

Support for the following additional devices:

  • Broadcom 5706 PCI-X NIC
  • Broadcom 5715 PCI-E NIC
  • Broadcom 5708 on-board NIC
  • Broadcom 5714 on-board NIC
  • Intel Pro/1000 PT Single Port NIC
  • Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port NIC
  • IBM ServerRAID 8K controller
  • Dell PERC 5/i
  • LSI SAS controller (PC-E) LSISAS1064E
  • LSI SAS controller (PCI-X) LSISAS1068

Refer to the ESX Server 2.x I/O Compatibility Guide for additional device and driver information.

Management Agents
Support for the following management agents:

  • HP Insight Manager 7.6.0
  • IBM Director 5.10.3
  • Dell OpenManage 5.0 (Supported only on Dell PowerEdge PE2900, PE2950, and PE1950 systems)
  • Dell OpenManage 4.5 (Supported on all other Dell systems listed in the ESX Server 2.x Systems Compatibility Guide)

The VMware ESX Server 2.5.4 Installing Management Agents tech note is available at http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx25_cfg_mgmt_tools.pdf.

In addition, this release contains all the updates from all previous releases, including those in:

Compatibility with VMware VirtualCenter

For VirtualCenter compatibility with ESX Server 2.5.4, refer to the VMware Infrastructure Compatibility Matrixes.

Resolved Issues

VMware typically publishes lists of issues resolved with each product at or around the time of the specific product release. A list of issues resolved in ESX Server 2.5.4 is available at http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx2x_fixed_bugs_list.pdf.

Release Notes for ESX Server 2.5, 2.5.1, 2.5.2, and 2.5.3

The ESX Server 2.5.3 Release Notes are available at www.vmware.com/support/esx25/doc/releasenotes_esx253.html.

The ESX Server 2.5.2 Release Notes are available at www.vmware.com/support/esx25/doc/releasenotes_esx252.html.

The ESX Server 2.5.1 Release Notes are available at www.vmware.com/support/esx25/doc/releasenotes_esx25.html.

The ESX Server 2.5 Release Notes are available at www.vmware.com/support/esx25/doc/releasenotes_esx250.html.

Before You Begin

Please refer to the following before you install or upgrade ESX Server:

Known Issues

Check the VMware Knowledge Base for updates to the issues described in this document.

For any known issue that has a Knowledge Base article link, please use this path to access the article. Change the Knowledge Base number in the URL: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/xxxx.

As of this writing, no security alerts have been identified specifically for ESX Server 2.5.4.

Please refer to KB 1107 for VMware product security alerts.



Guest Operating System

You can find the latest version of the Guest Operating System Installation Guide by following these links: HTML | PDF | Japanese PDF.


Note: Due to ongoing certification, please check the SAN Compatibility Guide for ESX Server 2.x to see if your array is listed before upgrading.

Installation Notes for This Release

Configuring Your System to Install Boot-From-SAN
For general instructions on configuring ESX Server for boot-from-SAN operation, see the ESX Server SAN Configuration Guide.

For hardware compatibility with ESX Server, see the Compatibility Guides available at www.vmware.com/support/resources/esx_resources.html.

Note: If you are using a preboot execution environment (PXE), a boot-from-SAN operation will fail and is not supported for this version of ESX Server. Only a local disk PXE installation is supported.

Installing the VMware Virtual SMP Product
If you have purchased the VMware Virtual SMP product, then you can create Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) virtual machines, with single or dual virtual CPUs. You install the Virtual SMP product during your ESX Server installation by inserting its serial number during the licensing step of your ESX Server installation.

Upgrading a Previous ESX Server Release to ESX Server 2.5.4

ESX Server 2.5.4 supports upgrading from the following previous releases:

  • ESX Server 2.5.3 and with Upgrade patch 1, 2, 3
  • ESX Server 2.5.2 and with Upgrade patch 1, 2, 3, 4
  • ESX Server 2.5.1 with Upgrade patch 1
  • ESX Server 2.5 with Upgrade patch 2
  • ESX Server 2.1.3 with Upgrade patch 1
  • ESX Server 2.1.2 with Upgrade patch 6
  • ESX Server 2.1.1
  • ESX Server 2.0.2 with Upgrade patch 1
  • ESX Server 2.0.1 with Upgrade patch 6

Note: Using the tar archive, upgrading directly from releases prior to ESX Server 2.0.1 upgrade patch 6 is not supported. To upgrade from ESX Server 1.5 or ESX Server 2.0.0 to ESX 2.5.4, upgrade first to ESX Server 2.0.1 with Upgrade Patch 6.

Note: During an upgrade from a previous ESX Server release to ESX Server 2.5.4, this upgrade installer reinstalls all default ESX Server RPMs. If you have modified any of the default ESX Server RPMs, these modifications will be overwritten during the upgrade.

To upgrade from previous versions of ESX Server to ESX Server 2.5.4, you may use either the installation CD-ROM or the tar archive.

Upgrading from a 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. For upgrade instructions, see "Upgrading from a Previous Release of ESX Server" in the ESX Server Installation Guide, available from www.vmware.com/support/pubs/esx_pubs. html.

Upgrading from a 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. Power off all virtual machines and shut down your server.
  2. Restart your system.
  3. At the LI LO Boot Menu, select the option appropriate for your system.
    • For a boot-from-SAN installation, select esx-san-safe.
    • For all other installations, select linux-up.

  4. Log in as root into the ESX Server service console, in Linux mode.

  5. Make a directory named download (or use another name of your choice.) This directory must be accessible to the service console on the server you want to upgrade.

  6. Change to the download directory.

  7. Verify the integrity of the package.

    # md5sum esx-2.5.4-32233-upgrade.tar.gz

    The md5 checksum output should match the following:

    e7121a5390b3594319ecb39acbd5920b esx-2.5.4-32233-upgrade.tar.gz

  8. Extract the contents of the file.

    tar zxf esx-2.5.4-32233-upgrade.tar.gz

  9. Change to the directory esx-2.5.4-32233-upgrade.

  10. Run the upgrade script.

  11. The system updates have now been installed. A reboot prompt displays:
    Reboot the server now [y/n]?
  12. This update will not be complete until you reboot the ESX Server. If you enter n, to indicate that you will not reboot at this time, ESX Server displays the warning message "Please reboot the server manually. Your virtual machines will not run properly until this is done." If you see this message, you must manually reboot the server to complete the driver update.

  13. At the reboot prompt, enter n.
  14. After the installation, a file named "perllocal.pod" is created in the / directory. The personal file is an unnecessary file created as a byproduct of the installation process. It can be safely deleted.

  15. Delete the "perllocal.pod" file by issuing the following comments as root:
    1. Type "cd /" to change to the / directory.
    2. Type "rm perllocal.pod" to delete the "perllocal.pod" file.
    3. Type "reboot" to reboot the server.