Sunday, January 17, 2016

Error while using FreeBSD virtual image file in VMware ESXi host

While sniffing around FreeBSD ports collection using my fresh install of FreeBSD in ESXI virtual machine (refer to previous post),  I got an error while fetching the ports tree using the below command:

portsnap fetch extract 

Message from esxi_host: The operation on the file "/vmfs/devices/deltadisks/32b6d029-FreeBSD-10.2-RELEASE-amd64-s001.vmdk" failed (14 (Bad address)). The file system where disk "/vmfs/devices/deltadisks/32b6d029-FreeBSD-10.2-RELEASE-amd64-s001.vmdk" resides is full. Select button.retry to attempt the operation again. Select button.abort to end the session.

Now how to solve this issue?

This thread of VMware forum gives the necessary hint (

"What I guess that needs to be done is that you need to use VMware Converter to convert the previously (with Winimage) converted disk to ESXi as the target. This will convert the spars (...-s001.vmdk) disk format to a supported one. If you only have the .vmdk file(s), you may want to temporarily create a VMware Workstation (or Player) VM with the converted virtual disk attached, and use this as the source for the Converter."

After reading this thread, seems that the available Virtual Machine Image (.vmdk) provided in FreeBSD website does not work in esxi directly. 

For testing, I've downloaded both VMware products (VMware Workstation Player and vCenter Converter); the first one is free to try and the other one is a free product. 

First step is to create a new virtual machine in Workstation Player: 
* Install OS later
* Guest OS: FreeBSD 64-bit
* Virtual machine name: <any>
* Maximum disk space: <default> - 20GB
* Store virtual disk as a single file 

* After virtual machine is created, then replace the virtual disk file (vmdk) from the newly create virtual machine folder with the vmdk file downloaded from FreeBSD website.

* Execute the VM at least once; then the virtual machine will be ready to be converted and moved to esxi host;

Second step is to convert the virtual machine from VMware Workstation Player (source) to VMware Infrastructure:
* Select Workstation virtual machine folder (source);
* Select Infrastructure and enter server / user / password;
* Choose destination virtual machine name;
* Choose destination location (datastore);
* Virtual machine settings can be changed (e.g. number of CPUs, memory, NICs and so on);

And that's it. My test VM is up and running smooth now. 


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