Install ESXi 6.0 on a DL380 G5 – yes it works

For a VMWare Horizon View POC in our environment we recieved an old HP DL380 G5 with nice specs: 2 phy. Quad-CPUs, 32GB RAM, RAID-Controller with write Cache, and quite everything redundant.

As SSDs are getting more and more beneficial, we bought 4 Kingston 300v SSD with 480GB of space and installed them in the OEM cases of the HP disks. Yes, this works!

For our tests this hardware is more than enough.

First of all I googled around to see if there was already someone who tried to install ESXi 6.0 on an old DL380 G5 as it isn’t a supported hardware. I’ve found this article from a guy that was having problems with the HP custom iso installing it on a G5 server:

http://htluo.blogspot.ch/2015/05/esxi-60-on-hp-dl380-g5.html

So I decided to have a try with the original ISO. After booting the Image I received an error message saying that I’m using unsupported hardware. Thank’s for the information but I know this already 😉 You can accept the information an run-through.

After the installation completed, I connected to the ESXi server with the VIClient. Everything looked well with the exception of the hardware. There was no hardware listed.

This is because the HP drivers are not integrated into the image. So I downloaded the needed VIBs from the HP VIB repository and installed them (the text in the brackets is not part of the command). For those who don’t know what a VIB is, have a look on this article:

Before I could install the VIBs I had to put the ESX server in maintenance mode:

If you receive a message like this, this is because there are VMs running on the system:

So I had to check what VMs are running on the system and stop them. You can do this with the VI Client or with the shell:

Now that we have the world id of the VM (similar to the PID), we can stop the VMs with those commands:

Retry now to run the enter maintenance mode command and check the state with this command:

The output should look similar to this:

As you can see, the ESX server is now in maintenance mode. So i could begin with the installation of the VIBs. For this I used the esxcli “software vib install”. It is important that you write the full path to the VIB file. Otherwise the command ends with an error:

The output should look similar to this:

As you can see in the message, the system requires a reboot after the installation. So we can now reboot the system with the reboot command.

After the reboot we can connect us with the VIClient to the esx server and now we should see all the hardware and sensors installed on the system:

ESX Hardware

So then, I wish you happy virtualizing with your new ESXi server and do not forget to configure the rest such as ntp, ssh, portgroups, vm settings and so on.

P.S. this server is running now about 4 weeks without any problems or PSOD

19 thoughts on “Install ESXi 6.0 on a DL380 G5 – yes it works”

  1. That is a great peace of information, I hesitated to buy this cheap HP-DL380 G5 – 64 GB but this post helped my to decide.

    surprisingly everything is working now and I didn’t have to download the old drivers and VIBS and I can see all the senors and hardware,

    I used this version

    VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.0.0.update01-3029758.x86_64

    1. Thanks for this information. At the time I installed my ESXi Server, u1 was not yet released…

  2. Thanks…this is the first server for my homelab!!!

    For the price of a disk , i have a 8 core xeon….no silent but powerful!! (170€ ..wow)

    It rocks!
    No lab No Fun!!

  3. Just a small update in the links since HP has been re-branded to HPE (and new files:

    wget http://vibsdepot.hpe.com/hpq/latest/esxi-600-bundles/hp-esxi6.0uX-bundle-2.4-16.zip
    wget http://vibsdepot.hpe.com/hpq/latest/esxi-600-bundles/hp-nmi-esxi6.0-bundle-2.3.14.zip
    wget http://vibsdepot.hpe.com/hpq/latest/esxi-600-bundles/hp-ams-esxi6.0-bundle-10.3.0-7.zip
    wget http://vibsdepot.hpe.com/hpq/latest/esxi-600-bundles/hp-HPUtil-esxi6.0-bundle-2.4-5.zip

    esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/hp-nmi-esxi6.0-bundle-2.3.14.zip
    esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/hp-HPUtil-esxi6.0-bundle-2.4-5.zip
    esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/hp-ams-esxi6.0-bundle-10.3.0-7.zip
    esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/hp-esxi6.0uX-bundle-2.4-16.zip

    I just installed ESXi 6U3 and do you need this? Yes, because most vanilla ESXi hosts wont give you health information about the most important aspect of the server: RAID controller and disk health info.

  4. Just works out of the Box, as you wrote it! NICE 🙂
    Second Life for HP DL380 G5 (40GB RAM/8×2,5 GHz/8x143GB)

    1. I’m running 6.5.0 (Build 4564106) on a ML350 G5 for several months now without any issues. Not all sensors (RAID Controller) are visible through the web interface but that shouldn’t be an issue because the hardware is long beyond support anyway 🙂

      1. Yes, for me works to. I have two servers. Vmware Essentials. And the HP works fine. Its a great machine.

        No issues with 6.5!

        1. I encounter some problems with 6.5, non of my sensors work. when trying to install the vibs i get an error that it misses com.vmware.driverAPI-9.2.0.0 and can’t find any information.

  5. I cannot add new datastores. I’m wondring if I messed up the VIB install for the RAID drives.

    Here is the message that I am seeing:

    Create Vmfs Datastore
    Key

    haTask-ha-host-vim.host.DatastoreSystem.createVmfsDatastore-122951939
    Description

    Creates a new VMFS datastore
    State

    Failed – Cannot change the host configuration.
    Errors

    Any guidance in this would be greatly appreciated.

  6. I reset the box….

    went through the whole process again to ensure I didn’t mess up. I am getting some dependecy errors. Obviously, I missed them in the first attempt.

    [DependencyError]
    VIB Hewlett-Packard_bootbank_char-hpilo_600.9.0.2.8-1OEM.600.0.0.2159203 requires com.vmware.driverAPI-9.2.0.0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
    VIB Hewlett-Packard_bootbank_char-hpcru_6.0.6.14-1OEM.600.0.0.2159203 requires vmkapi_2_0_0_0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
    VIB Hewlett-Packard_bootbank_char-hpilo_600.9.0.2.8-1OEM.600.0.0.2159203 requires vmkapi_2_0_0_0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.
    VIB Hewlett-Packard_bootbank_char-hpcru_6.0.6.14-1OEM.600.0.0.2159203 requires com.vmware.driverAPI-9.2.0.0, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.

    Again any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Quick update:
    Install HPE ESXi 5.5
    Then upgrade to 6.0 or 6.5.
    You get the warning at the upgrade but it works anyway 🙂

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