Nathan Shearer

VMware ESXi 5.5 on an Asus M5A99X Evo R2.0 Motherboard with the Realtek 8111E or the Realtek 8111F chipset

VMware removed support for some network chipsets in ESXi 5.5 but they are still supported in 5.1. Now when you try to perform a fresh install of ESXi 5.5 on this motherboard it informs you that you have no network and halts the installation. I was lucky enough to have an Intel network adapter laying around and that allowed me complete the Installation, however once I had ESXi 5.5 installed, I wanted to install the drivers for the onboard Realtek 8111F network chipset and remove the Intel adapter. To do this, the procedure was:

Download the following VIB files from here (direct download links are below -- thanks to Vladen):
  VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib
  VMware_bootbank_net-r8169_6.011.00-2vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib
SSH into the host and run the following commands to install the drivers
  List the installed VIB packages
    # esxcli software vib list
  Install the two new VIB packages
    # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore01/VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib
    # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore01/VMware_bootbank_net-r8169_6.011.00-2vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib
  Reboot the host
    # reboot

Command Line Arguments for vpxclient.exe

-s <ip address or hostname>
-u <username>
-p <password>

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© 2017 Nathan Shearer