ESX(i) Community Driver Project

(I apologize in advance if this would be more appropriate for the Development forum, but I thought people actually using ESXi and looking for broader hardware support would like to know...)

Hi, everyone,

I'm excited to announce that I've started an Community Driver project for VMware ESX and ESXi. The goal of the project is to port hardware drivers, primarily for storage and network controllers, over to the ESX platform. I've started it out by stumbling my way through porting the Realtek 8169 Gigabit Ethernet driver over to this platform. I'd like to expand out to other drivers to provide a wider range of hardware support for ESX and ESXi, especially since VMware is now licensing ESXi for free.

Just to make sure it's understood, this is a community project, including community support, which means that use of these drivers is not Supported by VMware. The one driver I've ported is still in the very early development stages at this point so you may risk crashing your system if you use it right now. I'm sure that will become a non-issue over time as the drivers get further developed, but you have been warned. Also, aside from the drivers themselves not being supported by VMware, using these drivers may render your entire ESX(i) installation UNSupported by VMware, so use at your own risk.

All that said, I definitely would appreciate help with development, testing, and debugging of the drivers by anyone willing to contribute, and I can use help documenting, too. The drivers are all based on the Linux kernel drivers, so they're written in C. Some of them come from vendors and are modified; some come from the kernel sources. I could also use some help developing Makefiles for the drivers - the GPL Sources that VMware provides have a simple build script that could use some work (sorry VMware, no offense meant) or a good port over to a Makefile build system.

The URL for the Source Forge project is below. As of this post, there is absolutely nothing in the project - I'm just getting going. Over the next few days I hope to get the Realtek 8169 driver code checked into the SVN repository as well as some instructions on building that one. If you'd like me to add you to the project as a contributer, send me a Private Message and let me know - send me your UNIX username and the type of role you'd like to play in developing the drivers.

Project page is:

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