Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Upgrade to ESXi 6.5 via command line using VMware Online Depot

VMware has recently released ESXi 6.5 and there is a quick and easy way of upgrading your ESXi hosts to the latest version using the command line and VMWare's online depot:

How to Upgrade to ESXi 6.5 via command line using VMware Online Depot

Using the VMware Online Depot is a simple way to upgrade if you only have 1 or 2 ESXi hosts to do, perfect for a small home lab setup.
  1. Place the host you want to upgrade into Maintenance Mode.
  2. Open PuTTY (or any other SSH client) and SSH into your host.
  3. Type the following command to open the firewall for outgoing HTTP requests:
    esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
  4. Type the following command to download and upgrade to the latest version of ESXi 6.5
    esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.5.0-4564106-standard
  5. Now disable the HTTP firewall rule by typing:
    esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
  6. And finally, reboot the ESXi host to complete the upgrade.
    reboot
ESXi-6.5.0-4564106-standard is the first 6.5 release.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fix slow disk performance (vmw_ahci driver) in ESXi 6.5

Update (27.03.2017) - the problem still exists for vmw-ahci version:

vmw-ahci 1.0.0-34vmw.650.0.14.5146846 

Update (01.08.2017) - the latest ESXi 6.5 update 1 (build 5969303) seems to fix the performance problems. Read below on how to upgrade your hosts...



VMWare recently released it's VSphere line versioned as 6.5. I do not recommend to install it yet in a production environment - but it should be fine for your homelab.

Im reading several blog posts about disk performance problems with the new standard AHCI-driver (native vmw_ahci driver). 

I noticed the problems when I started to deploy a new VM from an existing OVA and also when I moved a VM from one datastore to another (Max. Disk-read/write performance 10 MB/s). Also chrome uploaded the OVA with a max. speed of 16 MBit/s.

Older ESXi hosts were using the legacy vmklinux drivers and in general the new native drivers should offer a better performance and lower overhead as those are build directly for ESXi.

You can check if your adapters are using the native VMWare driver in the GUI by going to STORAGE -> ADAPTERS:




If you are experiencing slow disk performance you can disable the new native driver module and reboot your hosts (enable SSH and log in):

>> esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=vmw_ahci

ESXi should fall back to the legacy ahci drivers and disk performance should be a lot better again.

On my hosts the OVA now uploaded at 300 MBit/s and Disk-read/write performance is back to the usual values.

You can also check if the module is enabled or disabled by running the following cli-command:

>> esxcli system module list


The affected module version for the native AHCI driver reports as:

vmw-ahci  1.0.0-32vmw.650.0.0.4564106  VMW  VMwareCertified   2016-11-20

Update (27.03.2017) - the problem still exists for vmw-ahci version:
vmw-ahci 1.0.0-34vmw.650.0.14.5146846 


Update (01.08.2017) - the latest ESXi 6.5 update 1 (build 5969303) seems to fix the performance problems.
It includes vmw-ahci 1.0.0-39vmw.650.1.26.5969303 

You can upgrade your ESXi 6.5 host by cli using the following commands:
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170702001-standard \
-d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient

Or download and boot the ESXi 6.5 Update 1 ISO to upgrade your host.

I hope this guide will help you until VMWare fixed the AHCI drivers for ESXI 6.5.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Microsoft Edge to get a built-in Adblocker

Microsoft Edge to get a built-in Adblocker


Yesterday Microsoft had a session called "Microsoft Edge: What's Next for Microsoft's New Browser and Web Platform" on it's Build 2016 conference in San Francisco.

According to point 4 of the following Roadmap an adblocking features for Edge as mentioned:


It's unclear when we will be able to see this feature in action exactly, but it seems to be targeted for the "next release". Im sure that this feature will be tested/previewed in upcoming Windows Insider Builds. Please donate so that I can keep running this site!



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Ubuntu Linux coming to Windows 10 natively (bash, ssh, git etc. etc.)

Wow! Soon Windows Insiders will be able to run linux binaries natively on Windows 10!



Microsoft Devs are doing a lot of great work! They are working on a Linux Usermode that is currently running an Ubuntu Image.

This allows you to run tools like Bash, SSH, Git, Rsync and probably most of the linux binaries from the ubuntu repositories. You will be able to use the official Ubuntu repositories and install applications with Aptitude - just like you are used to in ubuntu!

Running web servers is also possible as the Linux Usermode also accesses your windows network stack, but that is not the proposed use for the linux mode right now.

The best thing is, there is NO VM or Emulator running the linux kernel.

The Linux User Mode is running on top of what Microsoft calls "Windows Subsystem for Linux" inside the Windows Kernel.
The subsystem "translates" linux systemcalls for the Windows Kernel - and thats exactly why you can then run native linux ELF binaries in Windows.




The Windows Devs are published a great demo video:


This amazing feature is coming to Windows Insider builds very soon and I really can't wait to try out what's working and what's not -

Great times ahead! Please donate so that I can keep running this site!



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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Update Vsphere / ESXi from command line - the fast and easy way!

Update Vsphere / ESXi from command line - the fast and easy way!


There are several ways to update your Vsphere / ESXi hosts but this one does not require any dedicated Windows Server running update manager and just takes a few easy steps:

Just connect to your ESXi host using SSH. Be sure your lockdown / firewall rules allow SSH connections.

Now just enter the following esxcli commands.

1. Enable outgoing http connections in firewall

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient 

2. Download and install updates from vmware repository:

esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-20150204001-standard 

Replace ESXi-5.5.0-20150204001-standard with the latest image profile strings matching your ESXi-Version from e.g.
https://esxi-patches.v-front.de/ESXi-6.0.0.html for ESXi 6.0


3. Disable outgoing http connections in firewall

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient

4. Reboot your host


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Windows 10 finally allows shut down over a Remote Desktop Connection without tweaks

Shut down Windows 10 in a Remote Desktop Session


As of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14295 I noticed that you can finally shut down your Computer directly from the start menu. The full build string is 10.0.14295.1000.rs1_release.160318-1628.


You can grab the latest insider preview build from Windows update. Im excited to see even more great features in the next builds and especially at the upcoming BUILD 2016 event! Please donate so that I can keep running this site!



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