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This section describes VMware Driver Installation.

Hardware and Software Requirements

RequirementDescription
Platforms

A server platform with an adapter card based on one of the following NVIDIA devices:

  • ConnectX®-5 (VPI, IB, EN) (firmware: fw-ConnectX5)
Device IDFor the latest list of device IDs, please visit NVIDIA's website.
Operating SystemESXi 6.5
Installer PrivilegesThe installation requires administrator privileges on the target machine.

Installing NVIDIA NATIVE ESXi Driver for VMware vSphere

Please uninstall all previous NVIDIA driver packages prior to installing the new version. See Removing Earlier NVIDIA Drivers for further information.

To install the driver:

  1. Log into the ESXi server with root permissions.
  2. Install the driver. 

    #> esxcli software vib install –d <path>/<bundle_file>

    Example:

    #> esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/MLNX-NATIVE-ESX-ConnectX-4-5_4.16.8.8-10EM-650.0.0.4240417.zip
  3. Reboot the machine.
  4. Verify the driver was installed successfully.

    esxcli software vib list | grep nmlx
    nmlx5-core      4.16.8.8-1OEM.650.0.0.4240417    MEL    PartnerSupported 2017-01-31
    nmlx5-rdma      4.16.8.8-1OEM.650.0.0.4240417    MEL    PartnerSupported 2017-01-31
After the installation process, all kernel modules are loaded automatically upon boot.

Removing Earlier NVIDIA Drivers

Please unload the previously installed drivers before removing them.

To remove all the drivers:

  1. Log into the ESXi server with root permissions.
  2. List all the existing NATIVE ESXi driver modules. (See Step 4 in Installing NVIDIA NATIVE ESXi Driver for VMware vSphere.)
  3. Remove each module:

    #> esxcli software vib remove -n nmlx5-rdma
    #> esxcli software vib remove -n nmlx5-core

    To remove the modules, you must run the command in the same order as shown in the example above.

  4. Reboot the server.

Firmware Programming

  1. Download the VMware bootable binary images v4.6.0 from the NVIDIA Firmware Tools (MFT) site.
    1. ESXi 6.5 File: mft-4.6.0.48-10EM-650.0.0.4598673.x86_64.vib
    2. MD5SUM: 0804cffe30913a7b4017445a0f0adbe1
  2. Install the image according to the steps described in the MFT User Manual.

    The following procedure requires custom boot image downloading, mounting and booting from a USB device.