ViennaAustria
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5.x on new Apple Mac Mini 6,2 Late 2012 *NOT* working

Hello!

I bought one of the new MacMinis, which were presented yesteraday, plugged two 8GiB DD3-1600 modules in (OsX reported 16GiB of memory, as the models before) and tried to install ESXi 5.1 Build 799733. It started promising:

Initializing chipset...

Initializing timing...

Initializing scheduler...

Initializing processors...

Initializing ACPI...

*BANG*

Pink screen! Smiley Sad

NOT_REACHED bora/vmkernel/hardware/intel/vtd.c:3638

cr0=0x8001003d cr2=0x0 cr3=0x449ad500 cr4=0x12c

*PCPU0:4096/bootstrap

PCPU  0: SISISISISISISIS

Code start: 0x41800c600000 VMK uptime: 0:00:00:04.301

and a stackdump.

macmini.png

I tried instalkling 5.0 and 5.0 U1 also, but with the same result.

It is the regular MacMini with an i7 4C 2.3GHz and one 1TB SATA drive (http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD388LL/A with no extras), not the MacMini Server.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

PS1: I was unable to boot the ESXi setup from USB key! Since other USB keys (OsX setup for example) didn't work either, I suspect that there's some EFI boot problem from the new USB3 ports. Booting from CD worked, however.

PS2: on the earlies models we had the problem, that the Alt key wasn't recognized after powering on, when there is an USB hub between the keyboard and the Mac (a KVM switch for example). That seems to be fixed now: whenever I press the Alt key at the powerup chime, I get the Apple "boot menu", even with our KVM switch in between.

338 Replies
sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

@notsleepy: I'm not sure why it's not working for you, but if you are planning to use a 2012 Mac Mini for ESXi, I would recommend returning the "Server" version of 2012 Mac Mini and instead ordering the i7 quad core "Non-Server" version. You would be much better off bumping up the CPU to i7 2.6 GHz from the standard configuration for $100. With the third-party 16GB of DDR3 memory that you have already obtained, the total price would be the same as the "Server" version of 2012 Mac Mini (or even a little less), but you will get a better CPU than in your current "Server" version of 2012 Mac Mini. The only benefit that the "Server" version of 2012 Mac Mini gives you is an additional HD, but because you cannot utilize software RAID1 under VMware ESXi, having twice as much storage has very little value, IMHO. Do you really want to have 2TB worth of VMs running on your Mac Mini without any redundant storage? Even if this is for a lab, the amount of time you will spend building all these VMs would make it very hard to handle when the HD crashes. I, for one, am planning to utilize an external RAID-protected device to host the datastore with my VMs. It will either be iSCSI or DAS. I'm considering a Drobo Mini for DAS, but not sure if this would work. Nowdays, any decent NAS can be an iSCSI target. I have a ReadyNAS Pro 6 (a 4-year-old NAS), and it works fine for a home lab as an iSCSI target. I would never recommend this for a production environment, but for a home lab this is fine.

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HPReg
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If ESXi 5.x cannot properly boot Mac OS X VMs but Fusion 5.0.x can, it indicates a problem with the "applesmc" vmkernel driver. This driver is developed by VMware, and apparently Apple changed the physical SMC device enough in the Macmini6,2 that the driver can no longer drive it.

There are 2 solutions to this problem:

1) Wait for VMware to update the driver.

2) Use a modified version of Mac OS X in your VM (for example donk's), that can run on hackintoshes (i.e. which does not require a physical SMC). VMware does not encourage that solution which has legal and support implications.

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notsleepy
Contributor
Contributor

Hi @sirozha1

My setup is for a test environment. I accept that there could be data loss. My plan was to clone the drives after setting it all up. If there was a failure I could just swap out the drive with the cloned drive. I was also planning to replace the first drive with a SSD. I suppose I will return this Mac and go buy a standard Mac Mini. I can't see what difference there is in hardware other than the HDs but perhaps there is something different that is causing the installer to not recognize the RAM.

Thanks for the recommendation on using NAS. Please do let me know which hardware you choose and if it works.

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notsleepy
Contributor
Contributor

Before I go purchase another:

Has anyone had success with the non-server, new late 2012 Mac Mini i7 with 2.6Ghz?

My concern is that my problem is something to do with the 2.6GHz since everyone else seems to be installing on the 2.3GHz.

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oturn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

@willplaice

Can you clarify? Is USB passthrough not working, or VMDirectPath? VMDirecPath should work on all but the 2.5GHz dual core 2012 MIni.
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sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

@notsleepy: The specs that you posted for your current 2012 Mac Mini Server say you have i7 2.3GHz CPU. So, is your Mac Mini server i7 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz?

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notsleepy
Contributor
Contributor

Damn. You are right. It is definitely the 2.3GHz version. So now I'm stumped. As I can tell it should be identical to the hardware @ViennaAustria and others are using.

I wonder if I'm using the wrong version of ESXi. It states:  3i 3.5.0

BTW thanks to everyone for posting here. This is an incredibly helpful thread.

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elchubi
Contributor
Contributor

with Donk's patch you aren't modifying OSX in anyway.  Everything is done on ESXi side, as long as you use it on Apple hardware it is more a support issue than a legal one

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notsleepy
Contributor
Contributor

I'm an idiot.  Using the correct ESXi build now and its installing fine.    

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HPReg
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Good point about Donk's patch being applied to ESXi rather than the Mac OS X guest.

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sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

So, now that we have established the ESXi ISO posted by @zer010gic works on 2012 Mac Mini i7 2.3GHz, I'd be interested to know if someone has installed it on a 2012 Mac Mini i7 2.6 GHz. I don't think there should be any differnece, but before I buy one, I would like to double check. Also, which version of VMware ESXi 5.x is that ISO?

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zer010gic
Contributor
Contributor

Its 5.1

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sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

@@zer010gic: Thanks!

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zer010gic
Contributor
Contributor

I can make a 5.0 U1 which I have had requests for but I need to find some time and right now its not looking good.  Fridays are busy.

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sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

@@zer010gic: What are the major things that got changed from 5.01 to 5.1 that would warrant going back to 5.01 from 5.1?

Thanks!

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twuhabro
Contributor
Contributor

i've installed on mi new 2.6GHz seem to be "working" but still some issue:

- smc failed to load

- if you try to patch with the latest build (838463) the ethernet driver stop working and ESXi don't recognize the internal storage

i hope in a new ESXi patch at this point and roll back to the old hardware Smiley Sad

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sirozha1
Contributor
Contributor

So, are the results you've reported specific to the 2.6GHz 2012 Mac Mini or do the same issues occur with the 2.3GHz 2012 Mac Mini?

What are the reprecussions of SMC failing to load?

I'm not planning to patch my ESXi installation with latest builds. Is there something that would prevent me from using a 2.6 GHz 2012 Mac Mini in my lab? I've sold my Dell PowerEdge T410 server and got just enough money to pay for the 2.6Ghz Mac Mini, 16 GB of third-party DDR3 1600MHz DRAM, and a Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter. I'm just waiting for the Black Friday next week to see if I can get a better deal.

Should I still proceed with this solution?

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twuhabro
Contributor
Contributor

IMHO using a patched (and official unsupported hw) put esxi even in a small production environment is a constant variable...
smc fail means no official support for osx and i need to run almost a 10.8 server vm
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HPReg
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

> What are the reprecussions of SMC failing to load?

The only repercussion is that Mac OS VMs will not run properly.

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oturn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

After marking the USB controllers for passthrough in the DirectPath I/O Configuration, then rebooting, it reverts back to "No devices currently enabled for passthrough".

Can USB be used for DirectPath? Suggestions?

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