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Hi everyone,

Here’s a quick tip for the home lab people with old servers that can’t afford to get new hardware (like me).

It seems like that you can override the installer terminating when an unsupported CPU is detected.

What you need to do, is when booting from the ESXi ISO, press SHIFT+O, and type in:

allowLegacyCPU=true

This will allow you to install or upgrade an ESXi 6.7 installation.

I’ve tested this from my server with two X5660s and have no issues. The issue listed below has been fixed as of 7.0b (I believe that’s the version number), and you can run nested VMs again on ESXi 7 hosts with X56xx series CPUs.

Currently there is an issue where if you run ESXi 7.0 on older hardware, you may not be able to start virtual machines in a nested VM. For example, if you have a Linux VM on a virtual ESXi host VM on the physical host, starting the Linux VM may crash your nested ESXi host. This was an upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0, however, I have not tested this with an upgrade from other 6.x versions to 7.0, please let me know on Twitter and I will update the blog post.

Of course, this is not supported in any way. However, it’s good for us people that can’t afford to buy new hardware with newer CPUs. It means we get to use our old hardware for a bit longer.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you soon in new blog posts. The blog posts are coming back, with good news to come 🙂

Stay safe and have a great day!

Hi everyone,

This post will be about a nice trick I learned to get the maximum out of your VMware Homelab.

TPS, or Transparent Page Sharing, is a function where, in short, multiple identical virtual memory pages are pointing to the same page within the memory of the host. Here is a whitepaper that goes more in-depth.

It used to be on by default, but I believe that it was turned off due to security concerns (KB). However, it’s still easy to turn on.

I won’t go into full detail, for more information check out the above mentioned links, along with these two posts about TPS.

For my homelab, the security does not need to be that strict that I can’t have shared memory, and the performance decrease is acceptable as well (due to higher memory access times.)

To enable TPS, go into the advanced settings of your ESXi host, and set:
Mem.AllocGuestLargePage to 0 and set Mem.ShareForceSalting to 0 as well.

It may take a few hours before your memory usage decreases, but for the best performance I would recommend restarting all virtual machines. This, for me, decreased the memory usage on my server from 109GB to 89GB.

Have fun with your lab and I hope that this was useful to you!

See you next time, have a nice day.

Hi readers,

This short post will be about how I had to set-up a static route on ESXi to my VPN subnet.

My setup is as follows: I have an ESXi server in DC1, and a ESXi server at home. The Home ESXi server has vCenter and vRealize Operations Manager on it. My goal was to have vRealize Operations Manager give rightsize advise on VMs on both my home server and the server in DC1. For this to work, I need to add my DC1 server to my vCenter server. I created a datacenter for it in vCenter, and I created a vmkernel adapter on the LAN network of the DC1 server. There is an IPSec VPN that links the remote network and my local network.

vCenter could talk to the ESXi server, but the ESXi server did not know how to talk back. The solution was to create a static route. I simply ran this command on the DC1 server (I enabled SSH and use that to execute the command):

esxcfg-route -a 192.168.254.0/24 172.16.100.1

And that was it! It started to work. In a future series, I will be explaining how to setup vRealize Operations Manager.

For now though, I’m still playing around with it.

Thank you for reading this post.