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Immortal
Immortal

How can I dual boot ESX 3.5 with ESX 4.0

I want to use my DELL 2950/1950 server for both the ESX versions. So is it possible to create dual boot for ESX 3.5 with ESX 4.0?

e.g. Dual boot like Windows with Linux

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12 Replies
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Yes is possibile.

But you have to play with partitions and grub.

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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HyperViZor
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Interesting question. I haven't tried that before, and of course wouldn't recommend it at all for a production use...but the easiest and best way, I think, is to use a third party tool/bootable CD (like BootMagic) to partition your HD and dual boot between them... I have a similar situation for a testing server, but what i do is i swap the HD of the ESX3.5 & 4.0 whenever needed to keep everything clean and independent..

Hany Michael

HyperViZor.com | Virtualization, and everything around it

Hany Michael
HyperViZor.com | The Deep Core of The Phenomena
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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Some area can be shared:

  • boot partition (build it at least with 150 MB)

  • VMware VMKCORE

  • VMFS

I suggest to first install ESX 3.5, then make a copy of boot partition and grub config and then make the upgrade.

The new SC is based on vmdk so your original SC partition are still alive, and you can only add the origina file in /boot and add the original boot option in grup.

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
admin
Immortal
Immortal

Thanks for the response.

I have more updates on this query,

I have 2 HDD in my DELL server (sda and sdb). I found that after installing ESX 3.5, sda HDD is only in use by the system and sdb HDD is not even mounted on the system. So after installing ESX 3.5, I install ESX 4.0 on sdb. Installation is successful.

But now I am not sure how to configure grub.conf file for dual boot. Can you help me in that? Also in grub.conf I have to mention UUID value for root. From where can I find this UUID value?

Following is the snip from ESX 3.5 grub.conf. I have updated this file for VMware ESX Server 4.0

# cat /etc/grub.conf

#vmware:configversion 1

  1. grub.conf generated by anaconda

#

  1. Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file

  2. NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that

  3. all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.

  4. root (hd0,0)

  5. kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda2

  6. initrd /initrd-version.img

#boot=/dev/sda

timeout=10

default=0

title VMware ESX Server 3.5

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd0,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix ro root=UUID=f8219f2d-3eb6-4029-b932-10a1418983d1 mem=272M

initrd /initrd-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix.img

title VMware ESX Server 4.0

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd1,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.ESX ro root=/ mem=400M

initrd /initrd-2.6.18-128.ESX.img

title VMware ESX Server (debug mode)

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd0,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix ro root=UUID=f8219f2d-3eb6-4029-b932-10a1418983d1 mem=272M console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 debug

initrd /initrd-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix.img-dbg

title Service Console only (troubleshooting mode)

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd0,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix ro root=UUID=f8219f2d-3eb6-4029-b932-10a1418983d1 mem=272M tblsht

initrd /initrd-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix.img-sc

# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 146.1 GB, 146163105792 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17769 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux

/dev/sda2 14 650 5116702+ 83 Linux

/dev/sda3 651 17433 134809447+ fb Unknown

/dev/sda4 17434 17769 2698920 f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)

/dev/sda5 17434 17502 554211 82 Linux swap

/dev/sda6 17503 17756 2040223+ 83 Linux

/dev/sda7 17757 17769 104391 fc Unknown

Disk /dev/sdb: 146.1 GB, 146163105792 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17769 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sdb1 * 1 140 1124518+ 83 Linux

/dev/sdb2 141 154 112455 fc Unknown

/dev/sdb3 155 17769 141492487+ 5 Extended

/dev/sdb5 155 17769 141492456 fb Unknown

Disk /dev/sdd: 16 MB, 16777216 bytes

1 heads, 32 sectors/track, 1024 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 32 * 512 = 16384 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

Disk /dev/sde: 2041 MB, 2041577472 bytes

64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 1947 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sde1 5 750 763904 5 Extended

/dev/sde4 * 1 4 4080 4 FAT16 <32M
/dev/sde5 5 52 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/sde6 53 100 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/sde7 101 210 112624 fc Unknown
/dev/sde8 211 750 552944 6 FAT16

Partition table entries are not in disk order

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

From where can I find this UUID value?

You can use dumpe2fs /dev/sdXX (specify both disk and partition).

I install ESX 4.0 on sdb. Installation is successful.

Where do you have installed the second grub?

On /dev/sdb?

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
admin
Immortal
Immortal

As I mentioned before, during the installation of ESX 4.0 I had selected /dev/sdb. After installation of ESX 4.0, automatically 4 partitioned gets created as follows. Following is the o/p from ESX 3.5

But after booting the system in ESX 4.0 I found error as “Failed to copy esx.conf from initrd to filesystem.”

Please find the attached for the same.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

So I have tried dumpe2fs command to all the 4 partitions. Only for /dev/sdb1 partition I get the UUID o/p.

Right, one is the boot partition, one the VMware core partition, one the VMFS.

Only the first is formatted in ext3.

title VMware ESX Server 4.0

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd1,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.ESX ro root=UUID=118c0014-9632-489d-be8e-43e036e26770 mem=272M

initrd /initrd-2.6.18-128.ESX.img

Those lines will work only you copy the files from ESX4 boot partition to ESX3 boot partition (vmkernel and initrd).

Or you can try with this lines:

title VMware ESX Server 4.0

rootnoverify (hd1,0)

chainloader +1

makeactive

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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admin
Immortal
Immortal

One of the nice things about upgrading from 3.x with VIU or VUM is that it will leave your 3.x installation in place and you can roll back to the earlier version. You should be able to boot either 3.5 or 4.0 with it, although I believe you'll have to re-register any virtual machines.

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glynnd1
Expert
Expert

I'd be interested in hearing why you are doing this, but that aside that way I've been doing this is swapping hard drive around.

In my sandbox I never have enough servers for all the different OSes I need to play with. Multibooting is not something I want to play with and it also introduces a large unknown.

So, I ordered up some additional drives and shuffle them around as needs be - K.I.S.S.

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jbruelasdgo
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

another option is System Commander (it hides NTFS/ext3 partitions)

regards

Jose Ruelas

Jose B Ruelas http://aservir.wordpress.com
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admin
Immortal
Immortal

After making following changes in /boot/grub/grub.conf file and coping ESX 4.0's vmkernel and initrd to ESX 3.5's /boot partition, I am able to boot in ESX 4.0 Smiley Happy

Please note that I have used same UUID for ESX 4.0 which is mentioned in ESX 3.5.

&lt;snip&gt;

title VMware ESX Server 4.0

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd1,0)

uppermem 409600

#kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.ESX ro root=UUID=118c0014-9632-489d-be8e-43e036e26770 mem=400M

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.ESX ro root=UUID=f8219f2d-3eb6-4029-b932-10a1418983d1 mem=400M

initrd /initrd-2.6.18-128.ESX.img

title VMware ESX Server 3.5

#vmware:autogenerated esx

root (hd0,0)

uppermem 277504

kernel --no-mem-option /vmlinuz-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix ro root=UUID=f8219f2d-3eb6-4029-b932-10a1418983d1 mem=272M

initrd /initrd-2.4.21-57.ELvmnix.img

&lt;/snip&gt;

After booting in ESX 4.0, I can see the default page in service console. But if I press Alt+F1 to enter in ESX console it is entering in ESX 3.5 console. Is this a normal behavior after doing this or it should be different. Also vswif0 is not there due to that I am not able to access this server using Putty.

Also I have checked the uname -r which is showing correct kernal version i.e. 2.6.18-128.ESX

Any suggestions to fine tune this ESX 4.0.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Please note that I have used same UUID for ESX 4.0 which is mentioned in ESX 3.5.

In this case you start with new ESX4, but you mount the OLD root filesystem.

You must use the new UUID.

Andre

**if you found this or any other answer useful please consider allocating points for helpful or correct answers

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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