Vmware ESXI 5.5 home lab

  • Need help with setting up a home lab. I have a VMWARE ESXI server running vmware esxi 5.5. It has 2 physical NICs. I have one network that has access to the internet. I have another network with all my test lab servers. Can someone give steps on how to setup the second network to gain access to the Internet. I'm following Windows server base config guide that has you setup a 10.x.x.x.x network. My home network is a 192.x.x.x.x network. I have included a picture of what I'm trying to do. I understand the theory but do not know the steps and figure I could use pFsense.

  • Why ESXi 5.5?  6.5 has been out for months.

    Have a look at this.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Move to 6.5 immediately. Especially if you want any hope of running newer versions of pfSense. Modern versions of FreeBSD are not fully compatible with ESX versions that old.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    6.5 has be out longer than "months" - update 1 for 6.5 came out recently..  6.5 has been out since Nov of 2016.. So like 9 some months ;)

    To get your vswitch that is just lab on the internet, just add a vnic to your pfsense connected to that same vswitch.. Done..  Poing your vms to pfsense IP in whatever that network is and there you go.

    The latest update from 5.5 came out what sept 2015.. So like 2 years old.. Why would you still be running such an old version?

  • If he is running a home lab server he might have limited RAM. VMware v6.0 will consume 4Gb on its own and if you are running vSAN that will consume ~another 4GB. v6.5 uses even more for little gain for the home lab user.

    @blake, Are you familiar with VLAN's and also does your switch support VLAN's? If so, you can use your switch as a kind of port expander.

    Look at my VMware write up here and tell me if it is anything like what you hope to achieve.



  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    "VMware v6.0 will consume 4Gb on its own"

    Nonsense!! I run 6.5 on a 8GB old HP N40L box… vmware sure and the hell is not sucking up 6GB of that on its own ;)

    I just took a look at mine and the vmk, or the memory the host is using is 1370 or 1.37 GB of the 8... Where are you coming up with that esxi would use 6 on its own?  Are you talking about the vcenter server appliance or something?

  • This is completely off topic. The guy wants help with a 3rd network, only having two interfaces.

    Is yours a standalone non clustered host? If so you wont have hardly any services running.

    Here is one of mine following a reboot with no VM's running.

    I take offence to your phrasing but then maybe English isn't your 1st language.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Here is a better one.

    pfSense 2.4 is coming. It's based on FreeBSD 11.x. It won't work properly on ESX 5.5 or even 6.0.

    Upgrading may also solve other issues. There is no benefit to continuing to run an outdated hypervisor.

  • Thanks for your input Jim,

    Pretty sure as a VCP it just means freeBSD 11 wont be in the list of selectable OS'es when deploying the VM.
    If I was a betting man I suggest selecting FreeBSD 10 will be perfectly sufficient and pfsense will work fine, If I was a betting man.

    Still when 2.4 does come out and I do an in-place upgrade we will see wont we.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I don't know what you clicked for that last one, but 5.5 is supported for FreeBSD 10.x

    Unless they update 6.0 and 5.5 again, it may work (by luck) but I wouldn't trust it.

    EDIT: Updated image to a current screenshot.

  • There is 2 reasons I can think of to run 5.5. :)

    1 - It supports the native client which some people prefer.
    2 - If you using a free license you are limited to one free license, but this limit applies to per version, so you can have a free 5.5 and a free 6.5 as well on top of that :)

    I am personally running FreeBSD 11.x hypervisors in esxi 5.5, so I am not sure if thats the cause of his issues.

  • I upgraded a hospital last week from 4.1 to 6.0U3 at a cost to them of about £7,000.

    They can only take their 8 node cluster to v6.0 because their HPE BL460 Gen7 blade servers are not supported under VMware version 6.5.

    I would hate to tell them they can no longer run pfsense in their 400+ VM environment.

    All I am saying is there may be many reasons why someone cant go to v6.5 but I'll leave you to assist Blake with his enquiry as I have nothing to prove to anyone.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    1. You can still use the native client against 6.5, but you can't set some of the new hardware versions. NBD, really. You can use the built-in web interface if you need to do that, which is getting better each iteration.
    2. Not true, you can use the same ESXi free license key on multiple instances of the same version. Only real limits are CPU sockets and lacking the fancy paid features like powercli, vmotion, etc.

    If there are costs associated with updating, perhaps, but that's par for the course if you want to keep using a paid version. You can't just pay once and use it forever, you have to keep the license up, hardware current, etc. If it's not supported, there's a reason. It's EOL in some way. It may function, but it's a problem waiting to happen.

    We've really gotten off the track of the OP though, but you are spreading misinformation. If you want to run it that way in an unsupported and potentially insecure/unstable manner, feel free, but do not advocate others follow in your misguided path.

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