Enable RealTek NIC on VMWare VSphere 6.5

When you try to install VMWare 6.0 or 6.5 on your home computer, you receive a message telling you that the install cannot be completed because the Network Adapter is not found.

The first and one of the most important steps is to clearly identify your NIC’s brand and model. The key here is the unique PCI vendor and device ID. There are multiple ways to find this out, and most of them involve booting the machine with another OS (Windows or Linux). But here is the easiest way that starts directly at the stuck ESXi installation process:

When you see the nasty error message displayed at the top of this post then just hit [Alt] and [F1] on your keyboard at the computer’s console. You will be greeted with a login prompt: log in as root without a password (just hit [Return] at the password prompt). Now run the following command:

lspci -v | grep “Class 0200″ -B 1

If you do not use an English keyboard you may find it hard to type this command (esp. the special characters -, ” and |), because the English keyboard mapping is in effect regardless of what your layout is. You can change the effective layout by running a command like

localcli system settings keyboard layout set -l German

This will switch to the German layout. You can list all available layouts and their correct label to be used with the -l switch by running

localcli system settings keyboard layout list

Alternatively you can keep the English layout and enter all special characters using Alt+NumPad ASCII codes: is code 45, | is code 124 and is code 34.

If you finally managed to type the lspci command line correctly then the output will look similar to this:

0000:02:00.0 Ethernet controller Network controller: Realtek Realtek 8168 Gigabit Ethernet
Class 0200: 10ec:8168

Here you are: (In this example) you have a Realtek 8168 Gigabit NIC with the PCI ID id 10ec:8168.

here is a workaround for you … I have created a package that includes the original VMware net-r8168, net-r8169, net-sky2 and net-s2io drivers and uses the name (net51-drivers), and published it on my V-Front Online Depot.

If your host is already installed and has a direct Internet connection then you can install it from an ESXi shell by running the following commands:

esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported


esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient


esxcli software vib install -n net51-drivers -d http://vibsdepot.v-front.de


As you can see I had to add the –no-sig-check to install the vib. It might be this is not needed in your situation, though.



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