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No ethernet adapters with OEL6 under VMware ESX 4.1

I was playing around with Oracle Database 11.2 on OEL6.0 guest machine running on VMware ESX 4.1 and after installation I had no ethernet adapters. I didn't notice that before, because I always set the network to E1000 and now it was VMXNET3. Here is the description of the networks from the VMware manual:

E1000: An emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC. A driver for this NIC is not included with all guest operating systems. Typically Linux versions 2.4.19 and later, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and later, and Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) and later include the E1000 driver.

VMXNET 3: The VMXNET 3 adapter is the next generation of a paravirtualized NIC designed for performance, and is not related to VMXNET or VMXNET 2. It offers all the features available in VMXNET 2, and adds several new features like multiqueue support (also known as Receive Side Scaling in Windows), IPv6 offloads, and MSI/MSI-X interrupt delivery. VMXNET 3 is supported only for virtual machines version 7 and later, with a limited set of guest operating systems:

  • 32 and 64bit versions of Microsoft Windows XP, 2003, 2003 R2, 2008,and 2008 R2.
  • 32 and 64bit versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 and later
  • 32 and 64bit versions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and later
  • 32 and 64bit versions of Asianux 3 and later
  • 32 and 64bit versions of Debian 4
  • 32 and 64bit versions of Ubuntu 7.04 and later
  • 32 and 64bit versions of Sun Solaris 10 U4 and later

So it turns out that it should be supported by Oracle Enterprise Linux and I need to install the vmware tools.

Here is how to do it with default installation of OEL6:

  • Connect the OEL installation media to the guest

  • mount the media:
    mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

  • change directory to installation packages and install the following packages:
    cd /mnt/Packages

      rpm -ivh gcc-4.4.4-13.el6.x86_64.rpm cloog-ppl-0.15.7-1.2.el6.x86_64.rpm glibc-devel-2.12-1.7.el6.x86_64.rpm cpp-4.4.4-13.el6.x86_64.rpm ppl-0.10.2-11.el6.x86_64.rpm mpfr-2.4.1-6.el6.x86_64.rpm glibc-headers-2.12-1.7.el6.x86_64.rpm kernel-uek-headers-2.6.32-100.28.5.el6.x86_64.rpm kernel-uek-devel-2.6.32-100.28.5.el6.x86_64.rpm
  • Because OEL6 ships by default with Oracle Enterprise Linux Kernel, kernel-uek-devel should be installed for proper compilation of the vmware tools.
  • Umount the installation media and install vmware tools:
    umount /mnt
    VM -> Guest -> Install/Upgrade Vmware tools

  • Mount the vmware tools media and copy the packages:

      mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
      cp /mnt/VMwareTools-8.3.2-257589.tar.gz /tmp
      umount /mnt
      cd /tmp
      tar xfz VMwareTools-8.3.2-257589.tar.gz
      cd vmware-tools-distrib

Answer by default to all the questions, if all the packages are installed the compilation should finish in a minute and network interfaces should become available.

After susccefful installation the following could be seen in dmesg:

VMware PVSCSI driver - version
VMware memory control driver initialized
vmmemctl: started kernel thread pid=14962

VMware vmxnet3 virtual NIC driver - version
eth0: NIC Link is Up 10000 Mbps

For OEL 5.6 the following packages has to be installed, rest is the same:

rpm -ivh gcc-4.1.2-50.el5.x86_64.rpm glibc-headers-2.5-58.x86_64.rpm glibc-devel-2.5-58.x86_64.rpm kernel-uek-headers-2.6.32-100.26.2.el5.x86_64.rpm kernel-uek-devel-2.6.32-100.26.2.el5.x86_64.rpm