Installing Mellanox ConnectX® EN 10GbE Drivers for VMware® ESX 5.x Server


If you have Mellanox Technologies MT27500 Family [ConnectX-3] 10G Ethernet Card, it may not be automatically detected by VMware ESX 5.x Hypervisor. You have to install the driver manually into Vmware 5.x

Step 1: At VMware ESX 5.x Hypervisor,

  • Click the F2 button
  • Select “Troubleshoot Options”
  • “Enable ESXi Shell” and “Enable SSH”

Step 2: Download the VMware ESXi 5.0 Driver for Mellanox ConnectX Ethernet Adapters

Step 3: Unzip the mlx4_en-mlnx-1.6.1.2-offline_bundle-471530.zip

Step 4: Read the README file

VMware uses a file package called a VIB (VMware Installation Bundle) as the  mechanism for installing or upgrading software packages on an ESX server.

The file may be installed directly on an ESX server from the command line, or through the VMware Update Manager (VUM).

Step 5:  For New Installation (From README and modified)

For new installs, you should perform the following steps:

Step 5a: Copy the VIB to the ESX server.  Technically, you can place the file anywhere that is accessible to the ESX console shell, but for these instructions, we’ll assume the location is in ‘/tmp’.

Here’s an example of using the Linux ‘scp’ utility to copy the file from a local system to an ESX server located at 10.10.10.10:

# scp net-mlx4-en-1.6.1.2-1OEM.500.0.0.406165.x86_64.vib root@10.10.10.10:/tmp

Step 5b: Issue the following command (full path to the VIB must be specified):

# esxcli software vib install -v {VIBFILE}

In the example above, this would be:

# esxcli software vib install -v 
/tmp/net-mlx4-en-1.6.1.2-1OEM.500.0.0.406165.x86_64.vib
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