americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

mount NTFS partition via ESX 3.5

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Well, it seems that no simple "out-of-the-box" questions will ever come from my keyboard to this thread Smiley Happy

I have a SATA disk, all works fine yet I have an NTFS Partition on the same drive - let's say sda1.

ESX 3.5 looks stripped from mounting ntfs filesystem - actually not supported by the kernel it says.

I read somewhere that NTFS CAN ce mounted as ro (and I find that acceptable) fs but I can't find no detailed instructions on how to perform this action.

Is there some rpm/package that can be used for this or I should install some third party software (link/name appritiated)?

Once this is mapped I would like to publish it via samba to the network. Is there a samba server (I already initiated the client and mapped NTFS TO Esx via fstab).

Thanks for replies!

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

You cannot use an RDM but a RAW disk will work. So you need to first build a Raw Disk metafile to make this work or you could use the method outlined in http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/vmware-esx-storage-how-to-get-local-sto... to acquire those metadata files. Remember to NOT make the target of this the LUN/Partition that contains your NTFS.

The Linux 2.4 kernel can only mount an NTFS in read only mode if the driver exists. You could easily get this driver for your service console. It is not required for the vmkernel actually, just the service console. So you could mount within the service console but then what would you do with it?

It is better to make this a full blown VM by making the RAW disk within a VM. Then you can just boot and directly access the NTFS the normal ways to which you are used to.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill

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12 Replies
Cooldude09
Commander
Commander

You cannot modify the Vmkernel as the soure code for the kernel is not available and you can recompoile the kernel. The best way would be to mount the ntfs disk on any linux box and then can be shared using ftp or nfs...hope this helps.

Regards

Anil

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americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

first, thanks for reply.

well, as this is currently not acceptable since I run ESX from that disk and will have storage there as well (ntfs is 250 GB in size, rest is partitioned for Esx and VM Storage use).

the only other solution would be to use some other disk and map this as network storage but this will create a lag in performance (significant one as well).

As far as the kernel goes, I figured it's not available for recompiling.

Since I'm not a *UX expert (not even an average user by any standard), I remember that UX uses different distro's and apps but I must admit I do not remember that for this I had to recompile the kernel (Debian based DSL just download and install the support without recompiling as much as I remember).

I did when I needed some other stuff though so I guess I lack basic understanding of accessing the disks.

Still I find it odd that this is stripped.

And what about the other question? Is it possible to publish the drive (mount point) to Samba network from ESX?

Thanks!

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Cooldude09
Commander
Commander

I got you...so the best way in this case if to use bootable verion of linuc which has precompiled kernel which support ntfs partition as well. Knoppixor ubuntu could be a good option...

Also you can definitely setup samba server on ESX..the conf file is /etc/samba/smb.conf

Regards

Anil

Save the planet, Go Green

if you found my answer to be useful, feel free to mark it as Helpful or Correct.

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americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

I got you...so the best way in this case if to use bootable verion of linuc which has precompiled kernel which support ntfs partition as well. Knoppix or ubuntu could be a good option...

hm... I am not sure what do you mean. Or if I do understand correctly, suggestion is to have this disk under a different machine and create a NAS connection?

I miss the option "use a physical disk->partition" on the disk from GSX/Workstation products - this way I could map the partition directly to OS and no problem whatsoever.

Could be a nifty feature but ESX is not designed for that stuff I suppose.

Thanks for the samba answer although I hate modifying it manually being a Windows type of a guy (GUI Rulez) Smiley Wink

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Cooldude09
Commander
Commander

Apologies for so many Typo errors....I meant to say......Use bootable version of GNU/Linux OS like knoppix or Ubuntu........

And yess..... GUI rulz...but CLI is the boss.... Smiley Wink

Regards

Anil

Save the planet, Go Green

if you found my answer to be useful, feel free to mark it as Helpful or Correct.

If U find my answer useful, feel free to give points by clicking Helpful or Correct. Subscribe yourself at walkonblock.com
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americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

Don't care much about the typo's personally Smiley Happy

So, I still have a hard time of letting this one go so the other question is:

is it possible to access the disk/mountpoint as RAW whatever (i don't need to mount it) so it can be used/published in any manner/any means since *UX IS far more superior than WIN in hadling this kind of stuff.

Any positive, suggestion or experiment type of help is appriciated 😄

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Cooldude09
Commander
Commander

hmm...follow these steps....

Download the latest verison of Ubuntu OS and burn it on a CD / DVD,

Boot the OS form the CD, it wont install at the first place.

Login into the Ubuntu OS, and mount the NTFS partition on any folder. Then you can copy the data from that partition to required destination...

Also if you always wanted to keep it mounted the best way is copy the data off the ntfs...change the partition type to FAT32 and copy the data back to the same disk...and then you can mount using the ESX server......

Regards

Anil

Save the planet, Go Green

if you found my answer to be useful, feel free to mark it as Helpful or Correct.

If U find my answer useful, feel free to give points by clicking Helpful or Correct. Subscribe yourself at walkonblock.com
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Erik_Zandboer
Expert
Expert

Not sure if this would work: How about installing a windows VM, and try to mount the partition to it as an RDM?

Visit my blog at http://erikzandboer.wordpress.com

Visit my blog at http://www.vmdamentals.com
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americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

I was thinking the same but RDM is available only via NAS/FC connection and not from on the host Smiley Sad

For the host to be able to access it. The partition must be on some datastore and I can't get the partition to show up in datastore since the datastore uses different FS 😄

Catch 22 Smiley Happy

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Erik_Zandboer
Expert
Expert

Darn you're right. I already thought something was not right (that's why I stated "not sure if it will work" ) Smiley Sad

Visit my blog at http://erikzandboer.wordpress.com

Visit my blog at http://www.vmdamentals.com
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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

You cannot use an RDM but a RAW disk will work. So you need to first build a Raw Disk metafile to make this work or you could use the method outlined in http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/vmware-esx-storage-how-to-get-local-sto... to acquire those metadata files. Remember to NOT make the target of this the LUN/Partition that contains your NTFS.

The Linux 2.4 kernel can only mount an NTFS in read only mode if the driver exists. You could easily get this driver for your service console. It is not required for the vmkernel actually, just the service console. So you could mount within the service console but then what would you do with it?

It is better to make this a full blown VM by making the RAW disk within a VM. Then you can just boot and directly access the NTFS the normal ways to which you are used to.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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americhanac
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

thanks for the link - I marked the answer as correct but will try the procedure later in the day.

I was thinking in that way based on the theory but doing it is something completly different

In case I get stuck, I will post the question here with hope for the answer

EDIT:

I have made it work thanks to all of your help here. I partially took all three suggestions and created the following:

1. used the procedure to identify disk ( # esxcfg-vmhbadevs) and changed Partition type to 60 via fdisk since for some reason I couldn't make a dump to examine it (error was ReadOnly FS)

2. created a Knoppix.iso 5.1 from disk laying around and copied it via mapped samba client from my Workstation

3. Created a VM Machine with "New Disk" option

4. Modified vmdk file to access it as raw device by modifying "createType=vmfsRaw" and changing VMFS to VMFSRAW. In the same file, I also modified the path making it point to /vmfs/devices/disks/MY_LUN"

5. Boot a client from Knoppix VM. Once boot was done I simply connected to disk listed on Knoppix Desktop, changed permissions to RW and published it via Samba to MS Network

6. Mapped the drive to Workstation

Now I have to test this solution (it's not kosher but it works) since I am not sure what this will do to BUS accesss. However, this is definately a custom situation but I hope it will be useful to all who test/learn about ESX 3.5 with limited resources as I am.

Once again, thank you all for your help!

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