Poking about in ESXi4.1

Just looking about, waiting for inspiration, slightly guided by the impossible aim of making a USB stick into a datastore. Here’s one snippet from the log file:

Sep  9 17:24:40 vmkernel: 0:00:00:09.737 cpu0:4497)FSS: 3924: No FS driver claimed device
 'mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0:1': Not supported

And here’s another useful command I ran across which lists useful information about all your storage:

/var/log # esxcli corestorage device list
t10.ATA_____ST3500418AS_________________________________________5VM89S46
Display Name: Local ATA Disk (t10.ATA_____ST3500418AS_________________________________________5VM89S46)
Size: 476940
Device Type: Direct-Access
Multipath Plugin: NMP
Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST3500418AS_________________________________________5VM89S46
Vendor: ATA
Model: ST3500418AS
Revision: CC38
SCSI Level: 5
Is Pseudo: false
Status: on
Is RDM Capable: false
Is Local: true
Is Removable: false
Attached Filters:
VAAI Status: unknown
Other UIDs: vml.010000000020202020202020202020202035564d3839533436535433353030

mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0
Display Name: Local USB Direct-Access (mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0)
Size: 1896
Device Type: Direct-Access
Multipath Plugin: NMP
Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0
Vendor: Generic
Model: USB Flash Disk
Revision: 8.07
SCSI Level: 2
Is Pseudo: false
Status: on
Is RDM Capable: false
Is Local: true
Is Removable: true
Attached Filters:
VAAI Status: unknown
Other UIDs: vml.0000000000766d68626133333a303a30

mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0
Display Name: Local USB Direct-Access (mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0)
Size: 15318
Device Type: Direct-Access
Multipath Plugin: NMP
Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0
Vendor: Single
Model: Flash Reader
Revision: 1.00
SCSI Level: 2
Is Pseudo: false
Status: on
Is RDM Capable: false
Is Local: true
Is Removable: true
Attached Filters:
VAAI Status: unknown
Other UIDs: vml.0000000000766d68626133323a303a30

t10.ATA_____Hitachi_HDS721010CLA332_______________________JP2911HQ0MK9TA
Display Name: Local ATA Disk (t10.ATA_____Hitachi_HDS721010CLA332_______________________JP2911HQ0MK9TA)
Size: 953869
Device Type: Direct-Access
Multipath Plugin: NMP
Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____Hitachi_HDS721010CLA332_______________________JP2911HQ0MK9TA
Vendor: ATA
Model: Hitachi HDS72101
Revision: JP4O
SCSI Level: 5
Is Pseudo: false
Status: on
Is RDM Capable: false
Is Local: true
Is Removable: false
Attached Filters:
VAAI Status: unknown
Other UIDs: vml.01000000002020202020204a50323931314851304d4b395441486974616368

Actually, that looks like

esxcfg-scsidevs -l

in another format.

I did try again to create a filesystem on my USB device with the usual result:

/sbin # vmkfstools -C vmfs3 /dev/disks/mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0
Checking if remote hosts are using this device as a valid file system. This may take a few seconds...
Creating vmfs3 file system on "mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0" with blockSize 1048576 and volume label "none".
/dev/disks/mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0: Permission denied.  (Have you set the partition type to 0xfb?)
Error: Permission denied
/sbin # 

There doesn’t seem to be a way to make other filesystem types from the command line, but then, why would there be?

Moving swiftly on, there are plenty of other commands to play with, e.g.

 /sbin # esxcfg-info

prints hundreds of lines of config.

By my count there are 157 commands to explore in /bin and /sbin. I got that number by the following command:

/bin # find /bin /sbin -type f -perm +100 -exec ls -l {} \; | wc -l

5 thoughts on “Poking about in ESXi4.1

  1. Hello! please answer! did U find a way to create VMFS datastore on USB stick from which esxi boots?

  2. Unfortunately, no, I never did. Instead, what I ended up doing was copy my VMs onto a USB hard drive and load them into VMware Workstation. I realised I was really trying to make the server product do what the workstation product does. It would still be nice if you could though.

  3. Jean, I’m afraid it didn’t work for me. I got:

    /dev/disks # vmkfstools -C vmfs3 /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba35:C0:T0:L0:1
    Checking if remote hosts are using this device as a valid file system. This may take a few seconds…
    Creating vmfs3 file system on “mpx.vmhba35:C0:T0:L0:1” with blockSize 1048576 and volume label “none”.
    Usage: vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5] /vmfs/devices/disks/vml… or,
    vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5] /vmfs/devices/disks/naa… or,
    vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5] /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhbaA:T:L:P
    Error: vmkfstools failed: vmkernel is not loaded or call not implemented.

    /dev/disks #

    Were you using a USB disk or USB stick? There might be a subtle difference. I tried it with ESXi 5.0.0 [469512].

    Duncan

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