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 https://vibsdepot.v-front.de -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! 🙂

12 thoughts on “Installing Realtek Driver on ESXi 6.7”

      • [root@localhost:~] esxcli software vib install -d https://vibsdepot.v-front.de -n net55-r8168
        [DependencyError]
        VIB Realtek_bootbank_net55-r8168_8.045a-napi requires com.vmware.driverAPI-9.2.2.0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
        VIB Realtek_bootbank_net55-r8168_8.045a-napi requires vmkapi_2_2_0_0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
        Please refer to the log file for more details.

        Reply
  1. Doesn’t work…

    [root@localhost:~] esxcli software vib install -d https://vibsdepot.v-front.de -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?

    Reply
  2. I know this is old, but it took me WAY TOO LONG to find the solution and this thread helped… Thanks

    I found the Realtek 8125 2.5GBe driver here
    https://pan.chiphello.com:40272/?dir=/%E9%A9%B1%E5%8A%A8/RTL8125

    – Login to vSphere Web UI
    – From the left hand side under ‘Navigator’
    – Select ‘Host’
    – Click ‘Actions’ from the top menu then ‘Services’ >> ‘Enable Secure Shell (SSH)’
    – Copy the .vib file to a datastore
    – SSH into the ESXi server
    – Open CMD
    – ‘SSH root@~IP ADDRESS~’
    – it will then ask for your root password, type it in
    – Run these commands, be sure you have configured a working gateway and DNS server to connect to the internet
    – `esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported`
    – `esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient`
    – `esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r dns`
    – Now Install the driver
    – `esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore2/…/net-r8125-9.006.04-1.vib`
    – It should come back with something like:
    – 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: net-r8125-9.006.04-1
    – VIBs Removed:

    Reboot ESXi and job done 😉

    Reply

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