Installing Realtek Driver on ESXi 6.7

Hello guys!

I tried to install the Sophos XG on the ZOTAC ZBOX MI549 but the OS can’t find the realtek network card so I decided to install an ESXi server to the hardware to run Sophos XG in a virtual machine. I installed the vmware ESXi 6.7 (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0-8169922.x86_64.iso) image (use Rufus for ISO copy to your USB stick). After the initial IP configuration I saw also only one network adapter, so I had to install the realtek driver manually. At first, activate SSH to connect via PuTTY:

now connect to your ESXi server via SSH (be sure you have configured a working gateway and DNS server to connect to the internet) and check your network cards:

[root@localhost:~] lspci -v | grep "Class 0200" -B 1
0000:00:1f.6 Ethernet controller Network controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I219-LM [vmnic0]
Class 0200: 8086:156f
0000:6c:00.0 Ethernet controller Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Class 0200: 10ec:8168

as you can see, both adapters are visible to the system, but the drivers for the vendor ID 10ec:8168 are not available. You can also search for hardware compatibility at the VMware Compatibility Guide (select the filter “IO Devices”). In my case, I can use these commands to download the drivers from a specific source:

esxcli software acceptance set --level=CommunitySupported
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r dns
esxcli software vib install -d -n net55-r8168

the driver download and installation was successfull:

Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Realtek_bootbank_net55-r8168_8.045a-napi
VIBs Removed:

type in “reboot” to restart your ESXi server. After the reboot, I could saw both network adapters!

Happy Weekend! 🙂

9 thoughts on “Installing Realtek Driver on ESXi 6.7”

  1. Doesn’t work…

    [root@localhost:~] esxcli software vib install -d -n net55-r8168
    Installation Result
    Message: Host is not changed.
    Reboot Required: false
    VIBs Installed:
    VIBs Removed:
    VIBs Skipped: Realtek_bootbank_net55-r8168_8.045a-napi

    [root@localhost:~] esxcli software vib list | grep 8168
    net55-r8168 8.045a-napi Realtek CommunitySupported 2020-02-08

    any suggestion?


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