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Mac mini running ESXi
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-10-14, 20:53

Anyone here do this or aware of it beyond a concept?

I'm running a couple of ESXi servers right now that are hacked to run macOS VMs. I'd like to be a bit more let about it for the sake of updates and not having production VMs be dealt a blow because I'm hacking it to work.

I found this article that talks about it working now on the current mini, but was wondering if anyone here is familiar with it at all.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2020-10-15, 01:17

I don’t do this, and poor mini is a bit old for that. I see no reason why not though.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-10-16, 13:21

I'm going to find out how well it actually runs now!
Quote:
Mac mini
With the following configuration:
3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
8GB 2666MHz DDR4
Intel UHD Graphics 630
2TB SSD storage
10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)
Accessory Kit
$1,799.00
Now I'm going to need to order RAM from OWC for about $310 and a $66 SFP+ 10G RJ-45 adapter.

I figure, if for some reason it doesn't run ESXi well, I can always run macOS with Fusion Pro and then VMs in it. I really don't want to have the overhead of the OS for the VMs but I can if I *have to*.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2020-10-16 at 13:31.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-11-07, 11:28

So to provide details in this thread in case someone searches it out:

I was able to get ESXi running on the mini but it requires booting from a flash drive. So you have two flash drives when you start. One with the installer and the other is the one you are going to install ESXi onto and leave plugged into the mini. You will also need to disable secure boot and enable flash drive booting... DuckDuckGo that yourself.

If you go with the 10GbE option, you'll need to ensure you use the latest and greatest from VMware otherwise it won't recognize the NIC and will not install ESXi at all as VMware requires the NIC before it will complete the install. I had to make my own custom installer using a PC, PowerShell and PowerCLI using this script. As a free user (for my personal account) I'm not able to download the correct version off the start, so use this and you will be fine. I did a 6.7 and 7.0b version. However I'm running 7.0U1 now thanks to CLI upgrades from shell in the host itself. Here is an example of the command used to build the custom installer:
Code:
.\ESXi-Customizer-PS.ps1 -v70 -pkgDir E:\ESXi -outDir E:\ESXi -nsc
In the pkgDir I had the offline bundle for the NIC. Yes it is v6.7 but works with 7.0.

Once you get it running you'll need to connect storage or you won't be able to complete the upgrades to ESXi that bring it to the most current. In my case I have a NAS with iSCSI support and made a LUN for it. Now I'm using the 10GbE for networking and SAN connectivity. I've read that Thunderbolt drives are supported but I don't have one so I went with the NAS option. As of right now, the internal storage on the mini is not accessible to ESXi at all. So I paid to have 2TB put in there but can't touch it. I'm really hoping an update is made available that will give me access to that storage... I don't like feeling like I wasted money.


Currently I have 11 VMs loaded on it but only 9 running.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2020-11-07 at 20:43.
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