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Restore a NIC from passthrough via CMD in ESXI

February 12th, 2020 - IT(1 min)

These days I’m trying ot set up a do-it-all server for the house. I have tried to configure the SFP+ NICs with direct access for VMs.

Now, I’ve had a side effect: The NIC was not available for the management network. As a result, I could no longer configure the VMs via the UI.

Restore NIC back

I performed the following steps to get my NIC back for management:

  1. Enable the ESXi Shell

  2. Switch to the ESXi shell (Alt + F1)

  3. Check if the NIC is visible:

    esxcli network vswitch standard list # list current vswitch configuration
    esxcli network vswitch dvs vmware list # list Distributed Switch configuration
    esxcli network ip interface list # list vmkernel interfaces and their configuration
    esxcli network nic list # display listing of physical adapters and their link state

    I used:

    esxcfg-nics -l

    My network cards were not visible at all

  4. Edit the ESXI configuration:

    cd /etc/vmware
    vi esx.conf
  5. Locate the NIC entries. My entries were at the end of the file:

    /device/00000:003:00.1/vmkname = "vmnic1"
    /device/00000:003:00.1/device = "..."
    /device/00000:003:00.1/vendor = "..."
    /device/00000:003:00.1/owner = "passthru"
  6. Change the owner entry to vmkernel:

    /device/00000:003:00.1/vmkname = "vmnic1"
    /device/00000:003:00.1/device = "..."
    /device/00000:003:00.1/vendor = "..."
    /device/00000:003:00.1/owner = "vmkernel"
  7. Reboot ESXi from the console

This is all.

Resources

HTH,

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A little experiment: