After installing two virtual machines, I wanted to try debugging one from the other and make sure that worked. A serial port redirecting to named pipe was added to the target VM (with near end set to Server and far end set to A virtual machine). Similarly another serial port redirecting to named pipe was added to the debugging VM (with near end set to Client and far end set to A virtual machine).

There are two main differences between this setup and the VMware Workstation debugging setup

  • the named pipe name does not need to be \\.\pipe\1 etc since the host OS is not Windows
  • the debugger will be connecting to a COM port and not a named pipe

I was all set to setup more VMs and start using the machine to its fullest23.

1The user interface prevents you from entering backslashes when you are setting up the serial port for the first time but if you decide to edit it later, that is allowed.

2I made the mistake of entering the free license that the ESXi download came with. After entering the license most of the licensed features were gone from my license (licensed features are shown in Configuration->Software->Licensed Features). Thankfully I could remove the free license and revert back to the no license key mode where much more product features are available so I can use everything until the evaluation period expires.

332-bit Windows 7 checked build seems to BSOD with a 0x8E in early stages of install, but that story is perhaps for another day.

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One Response to Kernel Debugging on ESXi 4.0

  1. Jirawat says:

    I also got Dell T5500 and have exact same problem with ESXi doesn’t recognize built-in NIC. Thank for your suggestion on refurbish part from Dell.

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