You might find you have problems creating local VMFS volumes using the UDA’s partition tool. This affects many systems, specifically HP servers. VMware KB 8577703 acknowledges the problem:

“During an ESX Server 3.0.1 scripted installation on SCSI controllers that use the cciss driver, VMFS3 volumes might not be correctly created. To address this issue, ensure the entry for the volume is listed in the /etc/vmware/vmfs3queue. This entry indicates that the VMFS volume will be formatted and created upon reboot of the ESX Server system.”

There is a simpler work-around using vmkfstools. Here is an example:

This is the partition table for my HP DL385 Proliant ESX host:

clearpart –all –drives=cciss/c0d0 –initlabel
part /boot –fstype ext3  –size 250  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part swap   –size 1600  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part / –fstype ext3  –size 5120  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part /var –fstype ext3  –size 2048  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part /tmp –fstype ext3  –size 2048  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part /opt –fstype ext3  –size 2048  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part /home –fstype ext3  –size 2048  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part None –fstype vmkcore  –size 100  –ondisk=cciss/c0d0
part None –fstype vmfs3 –size 1 –grow –ondisk=cciss/c0d0

Anaconda requires the mount point name to be specified in order for the partition to be created correctly.

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While Anaconda creates the VMFS partition (Type FB in fdisk), it does not format it. In order to format the VMFS volume we add a vmkfstools referrence to the %post section of the kickstart file, like so:

%post
# Your postinstall script goes here!
cat > /tmp/esxcfg.sh < #!/bin/sh
# Configure ESX Server

# Format the VMFS Volume
vmkfstools -C vmfs3 -S esx4-localstorage vmhba0:0:0:9

Despite the fact that the VMFS partition is listed last (by default Anaconda places the vmkcore partition at the end of the disk) this makes the VMFS partition number 9, rather than 10.

This was first published in June 2007

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