smdion

Compiled Info: unRAID as Guest on ESXi

41 posts in this topic

Compiled ESXi Thread

NOTE: Please ask for support in the respective threads.  I'm just trying to compile all of the great info that we have into one place.

NOTE #2: unRAID is not officially supported on ESXi.  Limetech adds support for virtual drivers, but does not actively support it. THREAD

 

Known Issues:

ESXI: usb 1-1: reset high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci-pci

 

Different Ways of setting up unRAID on ESXi

There are two main different ways to setting up unRAID on ESXi either via PLOP or a VMDK. Please see below for the differences.

 

Pre-Built VMDK unRAID Guest

A virtual disk that is stored on your ESXi datastores.  This boots and reads your unRAID USB Stick for the license key.

 

How-To:

Pros:

  • Faster Boot Time

Cons:

  • Cannot use unRAIDs built in OS Update.  Need to do through other process
  • VMDKs not officially being updated by creator

 

Boot to unRAID USB via PLOP unRAID Guest

Create an ISO that boots directly to the unRAID USB Stick.

 

How-Tos:

Pros:

  • Can use unRAIDs built in OS Update.

Cons:

  • Slower Boot Time

 

PCI Passthrough vs Raw Mapped LUNs

 

Raw Mapped LUNs:

Map the physical hard drive to a vmdk and mount the VMDK in ESXi

 

Advantages:

[*]Do not need a supported RAID card to pass through harddrives

 

Dis-advantages:

[*]No Drive Spin Down

[*]No SMART Status

[*]Wear/tear on drives

 

PCI Passthrough:

Passthrough the RAID Controller to the unRAID Guest OS

 

Advantages:

[*]Supported SMART/Spin Down

 

Dis-advantages:

 

Extra tools to use with unRAID/ESXi

 

Open VMWare Tools

Powerdown/Restart from vSphere Client.  Allow clean shutdown from APC Powerchute

 

Needed Plugins:

APCUPSD for ESXi on unRAID

Shutdown ESXi gracefully when UPS is low on battery.

 

How-To:

 

Use a VMDK as a Cache/Array Drive

Add a virtual drive from your ESXi data store to the unRAID array

 

How-To:

Needed Plugins:

--------

 

Please let me know of any info to add to this!

[*]Additional Cost

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Nice job combining all the resources into one thread.

 

Noticed on typo though.  Con of booting witih PLOP should be slower boot times not faster.

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Nice job combining all the resources into one thread.

 

Noticed on typo though.  Con of booting witih PLOP should be slower boot times not faster.

 

Copy/Paste fail.  Thanks!

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Two more threads for inclusion:

 

VMWare tools for unRAID  (unRAID 5.0)

 

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=11449.0

 

Open VM Tools for unRAID 6

 

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=38279.0

 

These two threads probably should be moved to this area of the forum too.

 

I already have the 6.0 in there, but I'll add the 5.0 :)

 

Since they are plugins.. maybe we start a support thread in here?  I think they make sense in both places.

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Two more threads for inclusion:

 

VMWare tools for unRAID  (unRAID 5.0)

 

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=11449.0

 

Open VM Tools for unRAID 6

 

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=38279.0

 

These two threads probably should be moved to this area of the forum too.

 

I already have the 6.0 in there, but I'll add the 5.0 :)

 

Since they are plugins.. maybe we start a support thread in here?  I think they make sense in both places.

 

I like your idea (start support thread here) better rather than moving it.  Makes sense.  Nice to finally have all these important threads in one place.

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I think this thread should note that some ESXi 5.x and 6.x hosts show USB reset issues with PLOP and USB passthrough on unRAID 6.  2 members have been able to work around this issue by using microsd cards attached to Kingston FCR-HS3 devices,. 

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I'll add a known issues to the bottom. Good idea!

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It's good to note that with the addition of the unassigned devices plugin in unRAID 6, you can update unraid 6 final (and some betas) via the menu and then easily mount the VMDK within unraid, and copy bzimage and bzroot to the vmdk from /boot to the mounted VMDK drive.  After rebooting you will be on the latest version.

 

IMO there's no need to have someone maintain the VMDK image given how simple this process is now. I guess it would be nice if LT made a vmdk though.

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Not sure if the card reader is the reason why the reset usb error went away. Can test with a usb stick in the same system but I do not have time.

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I went barebones and it is much much faster now.  I also don't have the ssd cache issue anymore because the passthrough was not working properly.  I may run it like this for a while to see if it makes more sense to stay like this and virtualize my esxi.  I don't have lots of free time to tinker like I used to so maybe using going barebones makes more sense.  We will see though as I still need a vm environment for my home lab.  I appreciate all the help! 

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Thanks for this smdion. There are loads of info on this forum, sometimes its hard to filter out what is relevant

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What was the usb reset issue people were having? I'm not seeing it with my ESXi6u1+6.1.7 combination I don't think.

 

The guide says you can't do spindown or smart with RDM...mine seem to be working. I remember I had to create the RDM files using a different option, set the appropriate SCSI controller in the VM and then hack the ESXi startup script so it wouldn't poll the drives itself every hour or so causing them to spin up for no reason. I used to get all this junk in the direct console when it was running passed through disks but that seems to have disappeared with 6.1.7.

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Boot to unRAID USB via PLOP unRAID Guest

Create an ISO that boots directly to the unRAID USB Stick.

 

How-Tos:

Pros:

  • Can use unRAIDs built in OS Update.

Cons:

  • Slower Boot Time

 

So, just wanted to contribute back to this thread with info that might help (and offer a chance for someone to correct me!).

 

A few years back I had virtualized unRAID via PLOP and could first-hand attest to the slooooowww boot time and issues with that; so much so that I had gone baremetal.  With a new build, I decided I'd revisit virtualizing unRAID under ESX, and ran across plopkexec (actually mentioned elsewhere on this forum for a different purpose).  I can say that this drastically cuts down on the boot time (for all perceived purposes, same as bare metal).  With passed through M1015, I now have effectively the same config as my prior bare metal (and even moved it over seamlessly) without the hassles I recall of the AIO solutions prior.

 

Granted, this is now a day in, so still waiting for the other shoe to drop...

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Boot to unRAID USB via PLOP unRAID Guest

Create an ISO that boots directly to the unRAID USB Stick.

 

How-Tos:

Pros:

  • Can use unRAIDs built in OS Update.

Cons:

  • Slower Boot Time

 

So, just wanted to contribute back to this thread with info that might help (and offer a chance for someone to correct me!).

 

A few years back I had virtualized unRAID via PLOP and could first-hand attest to the slooooowww boot time and issues with that; so much so that I had gone baremetal.  With a new build, I decided I'd revisit virtualizing unRAID under ESX, and ran across plopkexec (actually mentioned elsewhere on this forum for a different purpose).  I can say that this drastically cuts down on the boot time (for all perceived purposes, same as bare metal).  With passed through M1015, I now have effectively the same config as my prior bare metal (and even moved it over seamlessly) without the hassles I recall of the AIO solutions prior.

 

Granted, this is now a day in, so still waiting for the other shoe to drop...

 

I am still running plop as I could not figure out how to get kexec to work.  Can you share?

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With a new build, I decided I'd revisit virtualizing unRAID under ESX, and ran across plopkexec (actually mentioned elsewhere on this forum for a different purpose).  I can say that this drastically cuts down on the boot time (for all perceived purposes, same as bare metal). 

 

I too would love to see some more information on switching from plop to plopkexec.  Upgrading from 6.1.9 as a VM to 6.2 would be a great time to try this.

 

Thanks,

 

John. 

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Boot to unRAID USB via PLOP unRAID Guest

Create an ISO that boots directly to the unRAID USB Stick.

 

How-Tos:

Pros:

  • Can use unRAIDs built in OS Update.

Cons:

  • Slower Boot Time

 

So, just wanted to contribute back to this thread with info that might help (and offer a chance for someone to correct me!).

 

A few years back I had virtualized unRAID via PLOP and could first-hand attest to the slooooowww boot time and issues with that; so much so that I had gone baremetal.  With a new build, I decided I'd revisit virtualizing unRAID under ESX, and ran across plopkexec (actually mentioned elsewhere on this forum for a different purpose).  I can say that this drastically cuts down on the boot time (for all perceived purposes, same as bare metal).  With passed through M1015, I now have effectively the same config as my prior bare metal (and even moved it over seamlessly) without the hassles I recall of the AIO solutions prior.

 

Granted, this is now a day in, so still waiting for the other shoe to drop...

 

I am still running plop as I could not figure out how to get kexec to work.  Can you share?

 

i'm running plopKExec on my offsite server - just download plopKexec iso image, add it to your unRAID VM, and thats all.. plopKexec boots, then it scans flash drives, finds unRAID flash, then automatically boots first boot choice of the flash..

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i'm running plopKExec on my offsite server - just download plopKexec iso image, add it to your unRAID VM, and thats all.. plopKexec boots, then it scans flash drives, finds unRAID flash, then automatically boots first boot choice of the flash..

 

So just to confirm -- After I download the plopkexec iso image, and put it on my ESXi server, all I need to do is change the particular virtual machine setting for CD/DVD Drive 1 to use the new ISO image, and no longer use the  plpbtmycd.iso file, correct?

 

I've got multiple USB memory sticks in my server -- will it give me a chance to find the correct one, or does this use the USB 1 field, as I currently have it defined with the existing PLOP configuration?

 

Thanks,

 

John

 

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So just to confirm -- After I download the plopkexec iso image, and put it on my ESXi server, all I need to do is change the particular virtual machine setting for CD/DVD Drive 1 to use the new ISO image, and no longer use the  plpbtmycd.iso file, correct?

i think so..

 

I've got multiple USB memory sticks in my server -- will it give me a chance to find the correct one, or does this use the USB 1 field, as I currently have it defined with the existing PLOP configuration?

Thanks,

John

i hope so, but i have no config with multiple flash devices, so just give it a try :)

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Ever since i migrated from v5 to v6, my Virtualised Unraid keeps crashing:

Meaning:

  • Gui stop responding
  • SMB shares stop
  • SSH stops
  • ping works
  • can login via VSphere client
  • "Reboot" or "Shutdown -r" commandline fails to reboot the Unraid. it starts executing but just hangs
  • Happens almost every second day

Anyone experiencing such? .. so frustrating..

 

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Ever since i migrated from v5 to v6, my Virtualised Unraid keeps crashing:

Meaning:

  • Gui stop responding
  • SMB shares stop
  • SSH stops
  • ping works
  • can login via VSphere client
  • "Reboot" or "Shutdown -r" commandline fails to reboot the Unraid. it starts executing but just hangs
  • Happens almost every second day

Anyone experiencing such? .. so frustrating..

 

which unRAID v6 version are you using?

mine is running fine with 6.1.9.

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Ever since i migrated from v5 to v6, my Virtualised Unraid keeps crashing:

Meaning:

  • Gui stop responding
  • SMB shares stop
  • SSH stops
  • ping works
  • can login via VSphere client
  • "Reboot" or "Shutdown -r" commandline fails to reboot the Unraid. it starts executing but just hangs
  • Happens almost every second day

Anyone experiencing such? .. so frustrating..

 

Try updating the BIOS for your motherboard, and any firmware on attached cards.  Also try a long Memtest from the unRAID boot menu.

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I have been keeping the vmdk's up to date for the latest versions of unRAID. I can post them here if there is any interest. It works quicker and more easily than plop. Just set up esxi to boot to the vmdk and pass through your USB drive.

 

 

Link to vmdk files.

unRAIDServer-x86_64_v_6_1_9

unRAIDServer-x86_64_v_6_2

unRAIDServer-x86_64_v_6_2_1

unRAIDServer-x86_64_v_6_2_2

unRAIDServer-x86_64_v_6_2_3

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