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ESXi 7.0u3f on NUC 11PAH with custom ESXi image!!


I know I am a bit late to the NUC 11 party for my homelab; but better late than never!!

Nevertheless, I installed the latest ESXi i.e. ESXi 7.0u3f on my brand new NUC 11. I guess, by now we know that the standard ESXi 7.0 (released so far) does not detect the 2.5gbps igc nic on the NUC 11. Thanks to the "Community Networking Driver for ESXi" fling: https://flings.vmware.com/community-networking-driver-for-esxi , we can create a custom ESXi image; so that we can install the ESXi to the NUC 11. You need to download the fling, for use in creating the custom ESXi image. Thanks to virten.net for providing the original script to get this done here: Homelab - Will ESXi 7.0 run on Intel NUC? | virten.net.


Let us look at the script I used for creating the custom image for NUC 11 from ESXi 7.0u3f:

Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned

Import-Module VMware.ImageBuilder

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\VMware-ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-depot.zip

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\Net-Community-Driver_1.2.7.0-1vmw.700.1.0.15843807_19480755.zip

New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile "ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-standard" -Name "ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-NUC11" -Vendor "virmyst.net"

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-NUC11" -SoftwarePackage "net-community"

Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-NUC11" -ExportToISO -filepath ESXi-7.0U3f-20036589-NUC11.iso

That's it, now you can create a bootable USB using rufus and the custom ISO you just created; and you can install the ESXi onto your NUC11.

There are few notable UI changes to the ESXi in the 7.0u3f release. From the time I started working on virtualization (ESXi 6.0); the ESXi UI had remained the same; until now. There have been no changes in the menu/options on the UI. The modifications were majorly visual:

- Different color for each resource type on the summary display of the host:

- The panes have changed from white to grey:

In my opinion, these visual modifications look quite nice!

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