VMware vSphere ESXi 7.0 is here and while you might want to wait before you upgrade your production, it's time to explore the new features in your Homelab. I've received questions on whether it is safe to upgrade and some folks are already having trouble with the upgrade.
First of all, short answer:
Yes - ESXi 7.0 will run on 5th - 10th Gen NUCs.
Important information before upgrading to vSphere 7.0
If your Homelab runs one of the following products, please consider that the following products are not yet compatible with vSphere 7.0 in any version. If you use these components, either wait until they are supported or remove them:
[Update: Meanwhile, support for many products has been added. See Interop Lister for vCenter 7 for a full list of compatible product versions.]
- ESXi 5.x
- ESXi 6.0
VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) VMware NSX for vSphere VMware NSX-T Data Center
- VMware Pulse IoT Center
VMware vCloud Director
- VMware vRealize Configuration Manager
VMware vRealize Operations Manager vSphere Integrated Containers
ESXi 7.0 on 5-9th Gen Intel NUC
The ESXi 7.0 stock image can be installed without any issues on 5th Gen, 6th Gen, 7th Gen, 8th Gen and 9th Gen NUCs. Drivers for all onboard NICs (I218-LM, I219-LM, I219-V and I210-AT) are available in the stock image. Drivers for NVMe devices and any SATA AHCI controllers are also available without any customizations.
ESXi 7.0 on 10th Gen Frost Canyon Intel NUC
If you try to install ESXi 7.0, the installer fails with a "No Network Adapters" error. If you upgrade to the latest Image Profile ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard, ESXi fails to recognize the network adapter after reboot. To install or upgrade to ESXi 7.0 you need a customized image.
The following commands can be used to create a working ESXi 7.0 Image to be used with Intel's 10th Gen Frost Canyon NUC. See ESXi on 10th Gen Intel NUC (Comet Lake - Frost Canyon) for further information about the updated NE1000 driver required to create the image. It's the same driver for ESXi 6.7 and 7.0.
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard" -ExportToBundle -filepath ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard.zip Remove-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard.zip Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\ESXi670-NE1000-32543355-offline_bundle-15486963.zip New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard" -name "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC" -Vendor "virten.net" Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC" -SoftwarePackage "ne1000" Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC" -SoftwarePackage "ne1000 0.8.4-3vmw.6220.127.116.11543355" Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC" -ExportToIso -filepath ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC.iso Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC" -ExportToBundle -filepath ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC.zip
Use ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC.iso to install or ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-NUC.zip to upgrade.
Upgrade to ESXi 7.0
Upgrade a running installation to ESXi 7.0 is very simple. Download the Offline Bundle, copy it to the datastore and run the following command:
# esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/VMware-ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-depot.zip -p ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard
If your ESXi host is connected to the internet, you can also download and install it directly:
# esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient # esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml # esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
Update Error when running USB NIC Fling
When you have the USB NIC Fling installed, the update fails with the following error message:
VIB VMW_bootbank_vmkusb-nic-fling_2.1-4vmw.618.104.22.168242987 requires vmkapi_incompat_2_5_0_0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
Please refer to the log file for more details.
The driver used in ESXi 6.7 is not compatible with ESXi 7.0. Luckily, a new driver is already available:
Download: USB Network Native Driver for ESXi
To update, use the "profile install" command with "--ok-to-remove". The will remove all packages that are not part of standard ESXi 7.0 and install the NIC Adapter right after:
# esxcli software profile install -p ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-standard -d /VMware-ESXi-7.0.0-15843807-depot.zip --ok-to-remove # esxcli software vib install -d /ESXi700-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-34491022-component-15873236.zip # reboot
Update Error when running NSX
When you have NSX installed, the update fails with the following error message:
VIB VMware_bootbank_nsx-esx-datapath_22.214.171.124.0-6.7.14663999 requires esx-base << 7.0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
Please refer to the log file for more details.
Currently, there is no supported
NSX-T or NSX-V version for vSphere 7.0. You have to wait until supported NSX versions are available and update NSX prior to vSphere 7. If you still want to install ESXi 7.0 you have to remove all NSX packages. I highly recommend to use the NSX Manager and disable NSX for the host as it's not just removing VIBs. It is possible to do a "profile install" with "--ok-to-remove" but this might result in networking issues after a reboot.
[Update 2020-04-07: NSX-T 3.0 with vSphere 7.0 support has been released today. You have to upgrade NSX-T to the latest version prior to upgrade vCenter and ESXi Hosts.]
Upgrade Free ESXi 7.0
Like in previous versions, you have to register for a free license key: