pfSense's OpenVM Tools on ESXi 6.7 no longer provides guest vm functionality
When I run pfSense on ESXi6.7 (Update 3) with Open-VM-Tools installed from Package Manager, ESXi sees the Open VM tools installed, but no guest VM functionality works. This means basic functions like "shut down guest" do not work.
I'm not exactly sure when this stopped working, apparently my scripts and ESXi management tools have been simply powering off pfSense instead of gracefully shutting pfSense down.
It looks like the Open VM Tools package is quite old. The package version (as reported by package manager) is 10.1.0 (Nov 14, 2016) and its dependency is on open-vm-tools-nox11-10.2.5_1 (Mar 30, 2018) per GitHub. https://github.com/vmware/open-vm-tools/releases
I would try one of the newer packages from Git, but they need to be compiled - it's probably not wise to set up a compiler on pfSense to test this theory. Is there, perhaps, a compiled version that's newer, based on what is available here: https://github.com/pfsense/FreeBSD-ports/commits/devel/emulators/pfSense-pkg-Open-VM-Tools ?
In my environment, with official VMware tools, all guest VM functionality is working. pfSense is my only BSD11 VM.
#1 Updated by Jim Pingle 6 months ago
- Category set to open-vm-tools
Might need to try on 2.4.5 or 2.5.0 to get the updated ports. I don't have any problem with guest functionality there, but I also don't have a system with 6.7 U3 yet (it doesn't like my hardware, allegedly will be fixed in the next update)
We might be able to bring back the version of open-vm-tools there, but it depends on what other changes it depends on
#4 Updated by Travis McMurry 5 months ago
Thanks for the info! Looking ahead, ESXi 7.0 is headed toward a launch at VMworld late August 2020. That said, if 2.4.5 is the candidate for the more recent upstream open-vm-tools (I realize this isn't directly authored by VMware) then that would likely resolve the issue I see today.
Everything else about pfSense is solid on 2.4.4-x in ESXi 6.7. In my use-case I'm passing some of the actual I350 NIC hardware (3 out of 4 available ports) into pfSense, haven't had any trouble out of it. The 4th port is attached to a vSwitch separate from pfSense. The VM tools, other than host communication, don't seem to add any other necessary 'hardware' even if I were using VMXNET3. IMO, this is quite ideal.