In-the-Lab: NexentaStor and VMware Tools, You Need to Tweak It…

February 24, 2012

While working on an article on complex VSA’s (i.e. a virtual storage appliance with PCIe pass-through SAS controllers) an old issue came back up again: NexentaStor virtual machines still have a problem installing VMware Tools since it branched from Open Solaris and began using Illumos. While this isn’t totally Nexenta’s fault – there is no “Nexenta” OS type in VMware to choose from – it would be nice if a dummy package was present to allow a smooth installation of VMware Tools; this is even the case with the latest NexentaStor release: 3.1.2.

I could not find where I had documented the fix in SOLORI’s blog, so here it is… Note, the NexentaStor VM is configured as an Oracle Solaris 11 (64-bit) virtual machine for the purpose of vCenter/ESXi. This establishes the VM’s relationship to a specific VMware Tools load. Installation of VMware Tools in NexentaStor is covered in detail in an earlier blog entry.

VMware Tools bombs-out at SUNWuiu8 package failure. Illumos-based NexentaStor has no such package.

Instead, we need to modify the vmware-config-tools.pl script directly to compensate for the loss of the SUNWuiu8 package that is explicitly required in the installation script.

Commenting out the SUNWuiu8 related section allows the tools to install with no harm to the system or functionality.

Note the full “if” stanza for where the VMware Tools installer checks for ‘tools-for-solaris’ must be commented out. Since the SUNWuiu8 package does not exist – and more importantly is not needed for Illumos/Nexenta – removing a reference to it is a good thing. Now the installation can proceed as normal.

After the changes, installation completes as normal.

That’s all there is to getting the “Oracle Solaris” version of VMware Tools to work in newer NexentaStor virtual machines – now back to really fast VSA’s with JBOD-attached storage…

SOLORI’s Note: There is currently a long-standing bug that affects NexentaStor 3.1.x running as a virtual machine. Currently there is no known workaround to keep NexentaStor from running up a 50% cpu utilization from ESXi’s perspective. Inside the NexentaStor VM we see very little CPU utilization, but from the performance tab, we see 50% utilization on every configured vCPU allocated to the VM. Nexenta is reportedly looking into the cause of the problem.

I looked through this and there is nothing that stands out other that a huge number of interrupts while idle. I am not sure where those interrupts are coming from. I see something occasionally called volume-check and nmdtrace which could be causing the interrupts.

Nexenta Support

A bug report was reportedly filed a couple of days ago to investigate the issue further.


  1. […] VMtools can be installed but it does need tweaking to get it working. Run the VMtools installer (as per VMwareKB1018414) but when asked if you want to run /usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl change the default [yes] to no. Using your favourite editor (vi or nano etc) search for ‘SUNW’ and then comment out the block which checks for the SUNWuiu8 package. Save the file and then complete the installation by running /usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl (full details in this article). […]


  2. […] NexentaStor and VMware Tools, You Need to Tweak It. […]


  3. Hello,
    I have just installed 3.1.2 under ESX5 as you write here. At the end vmxnet3s kernel module fails with malloc() error. BTW 3.1.3 has the same issue. Next I will try VM hardware version 7.
    I wonder how it worked for you.


  4. Note the version of my install. Since 3.1, NexentaStor has not included support for VMXNET3 despite installing VMware Tools. However, installing the LATEST Virtual Appliance version of NexentaStore WILL give you a working VMXNET3 device.

    WARNING: The VMXNET3 device in the latest version I’ve tested is configured for JUMBO frame only; it cannot be used on non-jumbo networks. However, the E1000 is fine to handle that job…


  5. […] NICs later.  Here’s a good how-to about installing the tools on NexentaStor, and also a workaround for a problem you’ll run into regarding running […]


  6. […] NICs later.  Here’s a good how-to about installing the tools on NexentaStor, and also a workaround for a problem you’ll run into regarding running […]


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