Still trying to rescue one of my virtual machines on my ESXi 5.5 blade that I erroneously upgraded to 5.5 virtual hardware (which prevents you from using the vSphere client to edit settings any more). I finally got an evaluation vCenter running, only to find: you can’t use vCenter to manage a free ESXi host. Even if you pay $6k for vCenter, it can’t manage a free vSphere host.

The problem was simple: Post-upgrade, ESXi 5.5 didn’t like the fix mac address on the guest any more and would no-longer boot it and a whole day trying to get VMware vCenter running so I could edit it: wasted.

So today I tried the virtual appliance. Didn’t work under VMware player, so I tried virtual box, where I was told

hypervisor is `oracle`, must be one of: `vmware`.

Silly me.

So finally I pushed it to the ESXi box. Yesterdays experiences made me think that might not work, but it deployed and launched fine. It took quite a while to set itself up, and the quick instructions were barely more helpful than “log in and set it up”.

First stop:  an old-school management web interface for setting up the vCenter services. Reminded me of some of free web-systems-management interfaces from the early 2000s.

Once I had that up and running, I was able to get into the vCenter web interface proper. It’s supposed to be a shiny webification of the vSphere client. But it isn’t. It’s like a hellish cross between a mobile app and whichever web-mail interface you hate most. There are many clicks many clicks to get to anything. They put toasts at the top of the window so that, often, as you are clicking, everything moves and you click the wrong thing.

I was ultimately able to fix the virtual machine by hacking the config file. I think probably a better solution would have been to clone it, revert to a previous snapshot, recover what files I could, and mail a big f**k you in bright pink letters to vmware.


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