Inspired by a great walkthrough on the LTB Blog about getting VI3 running on a mac via VMware Fusion, I decided to go ahead and give VI3.5 a try on my Macbook Pro using Parallels. However, I wound up disappointed in my effort. I love Parallels for my XP and Linux virtual machines, but ESX 3.5 was just too far out on the fringe for it to handle. Nevertheless, I will blog about the experience.
Here’s what I used in my setup:
- VMware’s VI3 installation set, obtainable in demo form.
- An Intel-powered Mac (the MacBook Pro 17 / 2GB is what I used for this demo) with at least 1GB of RAM, but preferably more.
- Parallels Desktop for Mac.
- Lots of disk space (I used a 250GB firewire external hd).
I built the base ESX server, ESXtest1 with only 768MB of RAM, as I am a bit RAM shy on this machine. I wanted to have another machine, a second ESX box, for VMotion, Storage VMotion, etc. VirtualCenter will be hosted on an external box, since it’s going to sit on XP and we already know Parallels can do XP beautifully. It was a straightforward build with very few changes to the default settings:
- The default location of the virtual machine files
- The amount of RAM
- The boot media (I used an ISO)
- The network type (I used bridged)
I didn’t get far. As soon as I booted up, I received the dreaded error, “The installer was unable to find any supported network devices.” This means one thing: VMware doesn’t support the NIC (a Realtek 8029 AS) that Parallels emulates and doesn’t have drivers for it. Parallels doesn’t have any alternative devices to use, even though they have a drop down box.
And thus endeth my travels into purely fun-testing land. Oh well.