Community NVMe Driver for ESXi

version 1.0 — February 23, 2021

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Release Date: December 08, 2020

Summary
This Fling is a collection of ESXi Native Drivers which enables ESXi to recognize and consume various NVMe-based storage devices. These devices are not officially on the VMware HCL and have been developed to enable and support the VMware Community.

Currently, this Fling provides an emulated NVMe driver for the Apple 2018 Intel Mac Mini 8,1 and the Apple 2019 Intel Mac Pro 7,1 allowing customers to use the local NVMe SSD with ESXi. This driver is packaged up as an Offline Bundle and is only activated when it detects ESXi has been installed on either an Apple Mac Mini or Apple Mac Pro.

Requirements
Note: For detailed ESXi version and build numbers, please refer to VMware KB 2143832

Known Issues:
  • ESXi versions newer then ESXi 6.7 Patch 03 (Build 16713306) is currently NOT supported and will cause ESXi to PSOD during boot up.
  • The onboard Thunderbolt 3 ports does NOT function when using the Community NVMe driver and can cause ESXi to PSOD if activated.
Instructions

Step 1 - Download the Offline Bundle zip file for the Community NVMe Driver for ESXi and upload to ESXi host using either SCP or Datastore Browser

Step 2 - Install the ESXi Offline Bundle by running the following command on ESXi Shell to install ESXi Offline Bundle:
esxcli software vib install -d /path/to/the offline bundle zip
Step 4 - Reboot the ESXi host for the change to go into effect. Once the host has rebooted, ESXi should now allow be able to claim and use the local NVMe SSD.

Note: For those that wish to incorporate the Community NVMe Driver for ESXi into a new ESXi Image Profile, you can use either the Image Builder UI in vCenter Server or Image Builder CLI with PowerCLI.
Changelog
February 23, 2021 - v1.0 (Initial Release)

      nvme-community-driver_1.0.1.0-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922-offline_bundle-17658145.zip
      md5: 826ed693a09d5745c496a7f42f793bd0