Author Archive

Upgrading from ESXi 5.5 to ESXi 6.x via SSH and esxcli

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

In the wake of VMware’s release of ESXi 6.0, I upgraded my ESXi 5.5 server to ESXi 6 using the install ISO file. However, it is also possible to perform the upgrade from 5.5 to 6.0 via SSH and esxcli. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: VMware, VMware ESXi

Using VMware’s Standalone Remote Console for OS X with free ESXi

April 18, 2015 Leave a comment

VMware recently released a Virtual Machine Remote Console (VMRC) application for OS X users. This application is designed to complement the browser-based console for vSphere users by providing a native application for launching a remote console session with a vSphere-hosted virtual machine.

A nice bonus is that the VMRC application can also connect to an ESXi server which is using VMware’s free license for ESXi. This provides a way for users of free ESXi to access ESXi-hosted VMs via a remote console session without needing to run either the Windows vSphere client or VMware Fusion Professional. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac OS X, VMware, VMware ESXi

Virtualization session at MacIT 2015

April 10, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ll be speaking about OS X and virtualization at MacIT 2015, which is being held from July 14th -16th, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. For those interested, my talk will be on Wednesday, July 15th.

For a description of what I’ll be talking about, please see the Virtualization and OS X Testing – Building Your Test Environment Using Virtual Macs session page, which is linked on the MacIT Wednesday Full Agenda page.

Categories: MacIT Conference 2015

Creating mobile accounts using createmobileaccount is not working on OS X 10.10.3

April 9, 2015 4 comments

Following the release of OS X 10.10.3, I noticed in my testing that I was no longer able to create Active Directory mobile user accounts using the /System/Library/CoreServices/ tool.

The process of using the createmobileaccount tool usually works like this:

  1. Open Terminal or run a script
  2. Run the following command with root privileges:
/System/Library/CoreServices/ -n network_account_username_goes_here

What normally happens is a new mobile account and home folder are then set up on the Mac for the network_account_username_goes_here account. On 10.10.3, I’m receiving an error indicating that the mobile account could not be created.

To try to narrow down if it was an issue specific to Active Directory account, I tested against both my shop’s Active Directory domain and OpenLDAP domain. In both cases, I received similar errors.

Active Directory on OS X 10.10.3


OpenLDAP on OS X 10.10.3


To verify that this was a 10.10.3-specific issue, I re-ran my tests in a 10.10.2 VM. On 10.10.2, my results were what I expected: A new mobile account and home folder were created on the VM.

Mobile account creation on OS X 10.10.2


Mobile account creation via the OS loginwindow

One piece of good news is that this does not appear to affect the creation of mobile accounts via the loginwindow. In my testing against my Active Directory domain, automatic mobile account creation via the loginwindow appears to work fine.

The process I used in my testing looked like this:

  1. Bind test Mac running OS X 10.10.3 to my shop’s Active Directory domain, with mobile account creation enabled in the Apple Active Directory plug-in’s settings.
  2. Verify that the test account was not present as a mobile account on the Mac
  3. Log in with the test account’s credentials at the loginwindow

The results were what I expected: A new mobile account and home folder were created on the test Mac.

To help get this issue fixed, I’ve filed a bug report. For those interested in duping it, it’s bug ID 20482382.

Update 4-10-2015: My bug report has been closed as a duplicate of bug ID 20295898. If you want to file a bug report that dupes mine, please use the following bug ID to do so:

Bug ID 20295898

For those interested in the details, I’ve also posted the bug report to Open Radar:

Accessing and unhiding the hidden ~/Library folder

April 3, 2015 1 comment

Starting in Mac OS X 10.7.x, Apple started hiding the Library directory stored inside an account’s home folder. I’ve written a script to un-hide it on my own Macs, but I recently came across a couple of Apple-supported ways to access and unhide the ~/Library directory. For more details, see below the jump.

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Upgrading an ESXi server from 5.5 to 6.0

March 25, 2015 3 comments

As part of moving my ESXi environment from 5.5 to 6.0, I have a 2012 Mac Pro which I’m using to host my OS X test environment for work. As this server is already configured the way I want it, I wanted to do a straight upgrade and preserve my existing settings and datastores. Fortunately, the 2012 Mac Pro is listed on VMware’s hardware compatibility list as being supported hardware.

While ESXi 6.0 is not yet listed as a supported release, I had it on reasonably good authority that I could use the stock ESXi 6.0 installer to upgrade. All I needed to do was get a copy of the ESXi 6.0 installer ISO file from the VMware website and use Disk Utility to burn the ISO file to a CD. For more details, see below the jump.

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Setting up ESXi 6.0 on a 2012 Mac Mini Server

March 24, 2015 1 comment

Something I’ve been doing for a while is running ESXi on my home server setup. Up until now I’ve been running ESXi 5.5.x on a 2011 Mac Mini, but with the release of ESXi 6.0 by VMware, I decided it was time to upgrade to new hardware. I opted to use the 2012 Mac Mini Server over the 2014 Mac Mini because the 2012 Mini Server uses quad-core processors with hyper-threading. Hyper-threading effectively doubles the number of available processors, so I would be upgrading from four available processors on my 2011 Mini to eight available processors on my 2012; in turn doubling the number of virtual machines which I could host and run inside of ESXi.

Unlike my previous installation of ESXi 5.x on a 2011 Mac Mini Server, where I needed to add ethernet drivers to the stock ESXi 5.x installer, ESXi 6.0 will install and work without additional drivers or installer modification needed. All I needed to do was download a copy of the ESXi 6.0 installer ISO file from the VMware website, use Disk Utility to burn the ISO file to a CD and use that to install ESXi 6. For more details, see below the jump.

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