Archive for the ‘VMware ESXi’ Category

VMware Fusion Technology Preview July 2014 includes ESXi management options

July 4, 2014 Leave a comment

VMware has released the VMware Fusion Technology Preview July 2014 as of Jul 3, 2014. One of the new items included in the Features list was this one:

Support for viewing VMware Fusion Professional to VMware Workstation, VMware ESXi, VMware vSphere servers in the library (File > Connect to Server)

When I investigated, it looks like this feature brings to VMware Fusion something that’s been in VMware Workstation for a while: a way to manage free ESXi and paid vSphere servers.

For more details, see below the jump.

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Open Directory in Mavericks no longer requires multiple processors

November 22, 2013 Leave a comment

In Mac OS X Server 10.7.x and 10.8.x, there’s been an issue that Mac admins have run into more than once:

“I’m trying to set up Open Directory in this VM, but the service won’t enable.”

Profile Manager in 10.7.x and 10.8.x also has an known issue where it crashes when set up in a VM. The root cause is the same: Profile Manager needs to have Open Directory running and Open Directory won’t turn on.

The fix for this issue in 10.7.x Server and 10.8.x Server is simple – give your VM more than one processor. Once you give the VM multiple processors (two is fine), Open Directory should begin working. This will also fix the Profile Manager crashing issue, as Open Directory should now enable properly.

In Mavericks, it appears Apple has addressed this issue. In my testing, Open Directory no longer requires multiple processors.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 8.03.07 AM

Now that Open Directory can run with one processor, Profile Manager also now runs properly on a one-processor VM.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 8.08.46 AM

Slides from the Virtualization and Testing Session at MacTech Conference 2013

November 8, 2013 Leave a comment

For those who wanted a copy of my virtualization talk at MacTech Conference 2013, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.


Keynote –

create_vmware_osx_install_dmg script updated with Mavericks support

October 23, 2013 7 comments

I’ve updated the script that I had previously posted about here. The script now includes support for Mavericks, so the script can now be run on 10.7 – 10.9 to create custom OS X 10.7.x, 10.8.x and 10.9.x installers for VMware Fusion and VMware ESXi. See below the jump for the details.

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OS X NetBoot now supported on ESXi 5.5

September 29, 2013 8 comments

VMware Fusion‘s support of NetBoot, combined with DeployStudio’s deployment flexibility, has given me the ability to quickly build VMs to desired specifications since VMware Fusion 5.x.

This ability has been hugely useful to me and I’ve long wanted that same flexibility when building ESXi-hosted VMs. With the release of ESXi 5.5, VMware has now included NetBoot support for OS X VMs on ESXi. This gives me the ability to build VMs on an ESXi host using the same DeployStudio-driven deployment process that I’ve been using to build VMs in Fusion.




Needless to say, this greatly simplifies my build process and all but eliminates any need for me to build OS X VMs in Fusion first and then transfer them to an ESXi server. Thanks to the folks at VMware who built this support into ESXi; it’s going to make life a lot easier for Mac admins who want to virtualize OS X.

Updating my ESXi server from 5.1 to 5.5

September 26, 2013 14 comments

In the wake of VMware’s release of ESXi 5.5 on Monday, September 23, I needed to upgrade my home’s ESXi 5.1 server to ESXi 5.5. Since I didn’t want to fire up my Windows VM, I did the upgrade from 5.1 to 5.5 via SSH and esxcli. For those interested, see below the jump for the details of the process I used.

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Categories: VMware, VMware ESXi

VMware custom OS X installer script adds support for VMware ESXi

August 10, 2013 1 comment

I’ve updated the script that I had previously posted about here. It now includes the ability to create an .iso file, which can be used with VMware ESXi servers running on Apple hardware. See below the jump for the details.

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Migrating OS X VMs files without VMware Standalone Converter

April 16, 2013 9 comments

In one of the comments to my earlier post about migrating OS X VMs to ESXi, Alan Gordon mentioned another way to convert an OS X VM’s vmdk file to an ESXi-compatible format.

Since the process I developed is ultimately about getting the OS X VM’s vmdk file up to the ESXi server, then building a new VM on the ESXi server to use that vmdk file, this is an easier technique because it allows us to skip using VMware Standalone Converter altogether. Instead, this procedure will use the vmware-vdiskmanager tool included with VMware Fusion and the VMware vSphere Client application. See below the jump for details.

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Categories: Mac OS X, VMware, VMware ESXi

Migrating OS X VMs to a VMware ESXi server

April 6, 2013 15 comments

I’ve started using ESXi servers more and more for hosting my test Macs, both here and at work. As part of that, I’ve found it to be considerably easier for me to build the VM inside of VMware Fusion on my Mac and move it to ESXi, then build it from scratch on my ESXi server.

That said, I’ve found the process for moving OS X VMs has not been straightforward. When I first tried moving 10.8.x VMs, I tried both VMware’s OVF Tool and VMware’s Standalone Converter, but neither initially appeared to provide me with the ability to transfer working OS X 10.8.x VMs.

In the end, I was able to find a way to use VMware’s Standalone Converter to transfer 10.8.x VMs, but the process involves some extra steps on the ESXi server’s end.

The process I’ve developed involves using a Windows 7 VM running inside of VMware Fusion, with the VMware Standalone Converter application installed. One thing to note before proceeding further is that I did not try this with a vSphere server. All my work has been done with VMware’s free ESXi server, so it may be that there’s an easier way to do this with vSphere. See below the jump for details.

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Setting up ESXi 5.1 on a 2011 Mac Mini Server

January 21, 2013 25 comments

One thing I’ve wanted to do for a while is virtualizing my home server setup, as well as making it easier to stand up (and take down) test servers as needed.

I’ve been doing a lot of work with VMWare Fusion on my Mac and could have gone that way, but I wanted to do the virtualization with VMWare’s free ESXi software. I hadn’t previously set up a dedicated hypervisor, so I wanted to learn how to do that.

I have a 2011 Mac Mini Server, which is fortunate because setting up ESXi on that Mini model has been well-documented in a number of places. The latest available version as of this date is ESXi 5.1, so I decided to install that. After some work, I now have ESX 5.1 running on my Mini Server. See below the jump for the details.

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Categories: VMware, VMware ESXi

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