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Virtually Me Colin's Technical Ramblings

Okay so at last I've bitten the bullet and upgraded a couple of servers to VI3.  Generally it seems to be straight forward enough - following VMware's documentation, although there was one gotcha that did cause more than a little head scratching.  There doesn't seem to be to much about it on the web so here's my contribution.

It was really a problem of my own making, as I chose to upgrade the servers from the tarball and rather than place the 450MB tarball locally on my ESX host I put it on an NFS server (just a desktop machine running Ubuntu).  Having enabled NFS on the ESX host I was able to mount the remote file system and run the preupgrade script ( and then run to actually do the upgrade.  Once completes it is necessary to reboot the box into the Service Console and then run  This is where it got tricky.  Having rebooted the machine I was unable to remount the remote filesystem. 

There were two reasons for this.  Firstly ESX 3 provides us with a firewall and one must explicitly allow the nfsClient to operate by executing the following command:
esxcfg-firewall -e nfsClient
and secondly when using the mount command one must explicitly state that one is trying to mount an NFS filesystem, like so:
mount -t nfs

The only other stumbling block was that in creating the version 2 VMFS file systems we had ended up with a 16MB block size being used.  As the largest blocksize under VI3 is 8MB it was not possible to upgrade the file system and it proved necessary to re-format the file system.  Fortunately the ESX host was being used as a development machine and the driver for the upgrade was to gain the capability to get 64-bit builds up and running so all of the guests had already been deleted, thus avoiding a migration headache.

VMware seem to have taken a fair bit of flack for this design change:


Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006 1:02 PM VMware | Back to top

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