Riceman85
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5 on a Mac Mini 2011

Hi all, since version 5 of ESXi has been released, I've been searching around whether it will install on a Mac Mini Server (2011 model).

I know the defunct Xserve is the only Apple hardware officially supported, but the Mac Mini would be gold for a Dev environment at home.

ESXi 4.1 I know definitely had issues with the Mac Mini, and have only found posts elsewhere mentioning "mixed reports" of getting ESXi 5 running.

Has anybody here tried this? I'd buy one today if i knew it would work.

Cheers

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24 Replies
gettons
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

just installed esxi 5 update 1 on my mac mini server flawlessly. Just one question: I noticed there is no audio device emulation for the virtual machines, is anyone using it ? I thought being virtualized it shouldn't be a problem if esxi does not recognize the mac mini audio hardware

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oturn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hopefully some of you folks running ESXi on the Mac Mini are still watching this thread…

I’ve had ESXi 5.0, and now 5.1 running on my Mac Mini for about 6 months now. The only problem I’ve seen is very serious….the occasional purple screen of death, or PSOD. The system will run flawlessly for weeks or months, but if it’s pushed hard and the CPU’s ramp up, it will get a PSOD.

Here are parts of the PSOD error:
PCPU 0 locked up. Failed to ack TLB invalidate (total of 1 locked up, PCPU(s): 0).
*PCPU5:2805/hostd-worker

VMware’s KB articles don’t help me out too much. Any suggestions? Could this be a heat issue?

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michagar
Contributor
Contributor

Has anyone figured out if its possible to Slip-Stream USB Ethernet Drivers into ESXi5 Installs.. Similar to the BroadCom SlipStream?

Also, are there 16gb SO-DIMMS out yet?  I searched around and didnt see anything.. Was hoping for 32gb Ram.

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Argyle
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

oturn wrote:

Hopefully some of you folks running ESXi on the Mac Mini are still watching this thread…

I’ve had ESXi 5.0, and now 5.1 running on my Mac Mini for about 6 months now. The only problem I’ve seen is very serious….the occasional purple screen of death, or PSOD. The system will run flawlessly for weeks or months, but if it’s pushed hard and the CPU’s ramp up, it will get a PSOD.

Here are parts of the PSOD error:
PCPU 0 locked up. Failed to ack TLB invalidate (total of 1 locked up, PCPU(s): 0).
*PCPU5:2805/hostd-worker

VMware’s KB articles don’t help me out too much. Any suggestions? Could this be a heat issue?

Never run into it but following the KBs on this , http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=102021... , it looks like a software or maybe cpu microcode issue. There are some references to broadcom network drivers (old times from ESX 3.5) but still suspicious since that's what the macmini uses. TLB is related to hardware assisted virtualization though. I couldn't find if Core I7 is on the HCL for VMware. Looking at the Macmini5,3 it uses Intel Core i7-2635QM. Maybe an updated bios would help if such exist?

Edit:

An update to my post. When using Image builder to create a new ISO for my macmini I noticed there is a newer driver for the broadcom NIC (NetExtreme I). I would update it to see if it helps the PSOD problem. There are quite a lot of fixes compared earlier versions.

VMware ESXi 5.0 Driver CD for Broadcom NetXtreme I Gigabit Ethernet including support for 5717/5718/5719/5720

version: 3.124c.v50.1
date: 2012-09-18
filename: tg3-3.124c.v50.1-841079.zip

Direct link: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI50-Broadcom-tg3-3124cv501&productId=22...

VMware driver page: http://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_0#drivers...

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

The new driver has kept my servers stable.  Before, they would PSOD almost daily. 

Chris

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