VMware ESXi with support for NUC-11 network interface

NUC-11

The Intel NUC Mini PCs are great mini computers to run VMware ESXi. Unfortunately, the image of VMware ESXi 7 doesn’t support the network drivers of the NUC 11th generation. A post on https://www.virten.net/2021/11/vmware-esxi-7-0-update-3-on-intel-nuc/ describes how to create a new image, with support for the network driver. I put this post here primarily as a personal reminder.

VMware imagebuilder

The image is build with VMware PowerCLI.

Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned
Import-Module VMware.ImageBuilder

Now download the ESXi offline image and the network driver. Then start PowerShell and navigate to the location where you have downloaded the files.

Add the image file

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\VMware-ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-depot.zip
 
Depot Url
---------
zip:C:\Users\User\Desktop\vmware\VMware-ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-depot.zip?index.xml

Then add the network driver

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\Net-Community-Driver_1.2.2.0-1vmw.700.1.0.15843807_18835109.zip

Depot Url
---------
zip:C:\Users\User\Desktop\vmware\Net-Community-Driver_1.2.2.0-1vmw.700.1.0.15843807_18835109.zip?index.xml

Now define a new ESX image and add the software packages.

New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile "ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-standard" -Name "ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC" -Vendor "virten.net"

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC       virten.net      29/04/2021 0... PartnerSupported
Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC" -SoftwarePackage "net-community"

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC       virten.net      23/11/2021 1... PartnerSupported

And then as a final step, build the ISO image.

Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC" -ExportToISO -filepath ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-NUC.iso

This ISO image is the image to write to an USB drive which you can then use to boot your NUC.

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