Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

FreeNAS on ESX Server

As part of ongoing interoperability testing with ESX Server, I tested running FreeNAS (version 0.65) on ESX Server 2.5.3 today. Since FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD (which VMware states is a supported guest operating system for ESX Server), I didn’t really expect any major surprises. I was wrong.

Basically, I couldn’t make it work. Despite trying both the BusLogic SCSI adapter (the default) and the LSI Logic adapter, the FreeNAS distribution wouldn’t see the virtualized SCSI hard disks, and therefore I could never install FreeNAS to the hard disk for use. Without the XML configuration file on a read/write media, FreeNAS lost its settings (such as the IP address or the network interface to use) every time it rebooted.

It’s odd that FreeBSD, a supported guest OS, didn’t appear to work, yet I was able to make OpenBSD (an unsupported guest OS) run without any major problems.

Anyone have any tips for making FreeNAS 0.65 work under VMware ESX Server?

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