blog howto server virtualization

MONITOR PANIC: Unable to decompress PPN from swap slot for VM


My VM would power off without apparent reason.
Looking in to the logs this error appears.

MONITOR PANIC: Unable to decompress PPN from swap slot for VM

I believe the underlying storage (a single SATA disk in my case) to be at fault, or almost dying I guess.
I storage vmotion’ed the VM to another disk.

blog howto server virtualization

VMware ESXi 5.1 on USB stick won’t boot Proliant DL380 G5

Installation using the cdrom was succesful but after restarting the server won’t boot from the USB stick.
Make sure you set the correct BIOS options to allow to boot from USB.


ESXIi formatwithmbr runweasel

If still doesn’t boot than it probably has to do with GPT/MBR formatting of the USB stick done by VMWARE.
You need to boot from the ESXi install CD again and right after you press enter to choose “ESXi5.1 installer ISO …” you see in the lower righthand corner the text “Shift + o” press this key combination (shift and the letter o). Now you see the text “runweasel” remove any chars after this, type a space and then “formatwithmbr”.

Now install as normal but now VMware should format your USB stick as MBR instead of GPT and you should be able to boot from it after the install finishes.


blog howto network virtualization windows

Delete or show hidden no longer active or present network adapters Device Manager

Open a command prompt. Start: RUN -> CMD (OK)
At the prompt type:
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
At the prompt type:
start devmgmt.msc
In the menu view, click on “Show hidden devices”.
Now go to network adapters and uninstall the ones that you were looking to uninstall, it will be greyed out.


VMWARE DR backup destination not mounted on reboot

Concerns VDR 1.2

To resolve this issue:
Open an SSH session to the VDR appliance.
Open the /etc/fstab file using a text editor.
Add this line at the end of the file:

/dev/sdX# /SCSI-0:1 ext3 defaults 0 0

/dev/sdX# is the device name and partition number i.e /dev/sda1
/SCSI-0:1 is the mount point
ext3 is the file system type
defaults is the mount option
0 is the dump option
0 is the file system check option

Run these commands to unmount and remount the volume:

umount /SCSI-0:1
mount /SCSI-0:1

The operating system in the VDR appliance should now be able to read the fstab file and remount the volume.

A little help, mount the disk using the GUI then issue command “mount” on SSH with root. This will tell you /dev/sdX# and the /SCSI-#:#

blog server virtualization

Install HP offline bundle on VMWARE ESXi v5

EDIT: You can always just download HP’s ready made install ISO for Vpshere 5.

When using the VMWARE iso image on HP Proliant you should install the HP offline bundle for hardware status and event log viewing in the Vsphere client.
Download the files. Check if there are newer versions.

Place host in maintenance mode via the Vsphere Client.
Upload the files to the root folder of the datastore.
My datastore is called DAS600GBRAID10, look up your name and change the path in the commands accordingly.

Run these commands from the Vsphere CLI v5.
esxcli.exe -s -u root software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/DAS600GBRAID10/
esxcli.exe -s -u root software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/DAS600GBRAID10/

Change the IP, path and username according to your situation. Password will be prompted for.

If you want to run the command without vCLI then run them on the host in Local Shell or SSH like this:
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/DAS600GBRAID10/
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/DAS600GBRAID10/

Change path according to your situation.

server virtualization

Enable software iSCSI adaptor on ESXi v5

Through SSH or on local console:
esxcli iscsi software set --enabled=true

blog server virtualization

HP ESXi 5.0 image license problem

The vmware.lic file is read only with a free ESXi key inside.

Execute on the command line of the particular ESX host:
esxcli software vib remove -n hp-esx-license --no-live-install
Connect with the VI client directly as root to the host and select by right-click to “shutdown” the host.

blog howto virtualization

Upgrade ESXi (free) 4.0 to 4.1.0 U1 (Update 1)

Are you upgrading from 4.0 to 4.1U1 ? Then read on or you will end up like me browsing trough the ZIP file and the XML files inside to find out the correct bulletin name. It’s not pleasant to do this when you just entered maintenance mode in a small time frame to stop production vm’s.

Procedure from the Upgrade guide:

1 Download the following upgrade ZIP bundle from the VMware Web site to a location that is accessible
to the vSphere CLI machine.
The upgrade ZIP bundle contains and esxupdate bulletin and an upgrade bulletin.
2 Power off any virtual machines that are running on the host and place the host into maintenance mode.
3 Install the esxupdate bulletin by running the following command on the vSphere CLI machine.
vihostupdate –server host name or IP address -i -b location of the ESXi upgrade ZIP bundle –
B ESXi410-GA-esxupdate
4 Install the upgrade bulletin by running the following command on the vSphere CLI machine.
vihostupdate –server host name or IP address -i -b location of the ESXi upgrade ZIP bundle -B ESXi410-GA
5 Verify that the bulletins are installed on the ESXi host by running the following command. –server host name or IP address –query
6 Reboot the host.

What they fail to mention is that the bulletin name in step 4 has changed. So in step 4 the command should now read:

vihostupdate –server host name or IP address -i -b location of the ESXi upgrade ZIP bundle -B ESXi40-TO-ESXi41UPDATE01

PS: After the upgrade I had some problems connecting to the management IP. I did a restart management but no effect. I then changed the mgmt IP and I could connect. However I had to update my client before I could login.

linux server virtualization

GhettoVCB ESX(i) VM’s backup: E-mail logfile

UPDATE: GhettoVCB now has it’s own function to send a report mail. It only works on ESXi > 4.1.

I’m using an excellent script to backup my virtual machines called GhettoVCB. This script works perfect. I wanted to get the daily logfile in my e-mal inbox. I have ESXi (4.0) and i don’t know whether it can e-mail by itself, i think not. But i used a linux VM i am running, to pull the logfile and mail it to me. The linux VM is set up with sendmail and outgoing mailhost is configured. I you don’t have a linux VM, a windows VM or PC can work too. You can use wget for windows to pull the file (syntax would maybe change a little bit) and then blat to mail the file. I won’t go in detail about this.

I have altered the GhettoVCB script to make the backups & logiles use this date syntax “date +%F”. I find it easier to read for humans. You have to adjust this in the Cronjob that calls the ghettoVCB script, the logfile is given as a paramter.
In the script below, please adjust the youruser and yourpass to valid login credentials for browsing the datastore trough https. Usually the user you login with directly on the ESXi. Also adjust the you@domain.tld, place your e-mail address. Pretty simple & basic but it works excellent. Last point, adjust the 192.168.x.y to your ESXi’s IP address.

#grab esxi backup log file and mail it v0.1
#Note the WGET part should be 1 line, no line breaks
#Adjust the youruser & yourpass to valid credentials for logging in to ESXi (browse the datastore)
#Adjust the IP address (192.168.x.y) to your ESXi ip addresss
#In the wget line below, my logs were located in a folder called backup on a datastore called 750GBdisk2
#You could check the syntax of the link by browsing to your datastore and locate the backup log files then look at the addressbar
cd /tmp
wget "https://192.168.x.y/folder/backup/ghettoVCB-backup-$(date +\%F).log?dcPath=ha-datacenter&dsName=750GBdisk2" --user youruser --password yourpass --no-check-certificate
cat /tmp/ghettoVCB* | mail -s "Backup log ESXi4" you@domain.tld
rm -rf /tmp/ghettoVCB*

blog linux server virtualization

Installed ESXi 4 (with FTP & SSH enabled) & migrated VM’s from workstation

UDATE: This is an outdated article, since ESXi 4.1 you can enable SSH (remote & local) from the VI client through “security features” in “configuration”.

After my XenServer5.5 experience i decided to use VMWare ESXi, let’s be honest, the leader in the market.
First problem, installation would fail because no supported NIC was found. I tried several NIC’s such as 3Com 3C509 & Realtek RTL8139 but no luck.
I ordered an Intel PRO/1000 Desktop PCI adapter. I tested with the ESXi 4 CD and it was detected and supported.
Success, then I made a custom ESXi 4 CD with FTP & SSH enabled (trough custom oem.tgz) and installed ESXi. All went flawless.
Since it took some time for me to test the different NIC’s and finally order the Intel NIC. I had already installed VMWare Workstation evaluation on my desktop and had recreated my VM’s. Of course my PC was not 24/24 online so the website I’m writing this on was only at some times available.

After ESXi was installed and running, I used the VMWare Converter Standalone to convert my workstation VM’s to ESXi. The Windows VM went excellent.
The Ubuntu VM was installed through VMWare Workstation easy install mode, and on the ESXi it would boot fine but would not load the correct drivers for the NIC.
I was trying different things on it, but without NIC there wasn’t much i could do. I tried compiling the VMware tools and drivers but had failures.
I finally had to make a new VM with Ubuntu server fresh install and copied the files and exported the SQL database (on my VMWare workstation i could still boot the VM with network access). But after at least 6 hours of work ESXi was running with the 2 VM’s and the website was operational.

Since i use Windows 7 I had to follow a how-to because Vsphere Client fails on Windows 7 (have to copy system.dll and make a batch script). After updates from VMWare the latest Vsphere Client works fine on Windows 7.
Yesterday and today I finished up the Windows VM and moved PC’s in to the domain, copied back files & setup shares.

Now on to some last items, torrentflux-b4rt, truecrypt, moblock, RAS, …