manual root filesystems specification under VMware

John Nielsen lists at
Mon Mar 19 17:09:56 UTC 2007

On Monday 19 March 2007 12:21, Jeff Dickens wrote:
> I'm trying to move a FreeBSD 6.1 virtual machine from VMware server to
> VMware ESX Server.  The original VM used a virtual IDE controller for
> the disks, and apparently VMware ESX server doesn't support this.
> The "VMware converter" applications translates the virtual disk files to
> use the Virtual SCSI controller under VMware ESX Server.  However, I
> then get dumped at the "Manual Root filesystem specification" prompt,
> where I should be able to just type "ufs:da0s1a" and off I go.
> But what happens is that the system is hung right at that point and
> doesn't accept keyboard input.
> If I boot FreeBSD into safe mode I can make an entry at the prompt.
> But "da0" is not available.  If I type "?" I see that all there is is
> acd0 and fd0.  But the scsi device must be there because the system is
> booted from it.
> Anyone see how I can straighten this out?  Once I get the root
> filesystem mounted I should be able to edit fstab and go.

Update the VM to 6.2 or -STABLE before you migrate it, and be sure you have 
mpt(4) in the kernel. The mpt(4) in FreeBSD 6.1 doesn't work under ESX server 
(actually it's the virtual hardware that acts broken), but a more recent mpt 
will work fine.

See this PR and/or the commit history for mpt(4) for more details:

I haven't done any migrations, but I have successfully run FreeBSD VM's 
installed from scratch under ESX 3.0 and 3.0.1.


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