Intel NUC – Install USB Ethernet Adapter

The only letdown with Intel NUC is the only one Ethernet adapter. Luckily thanks to some great minds out there there is a way out of this.
All is needed is a Startech USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (Part Number: USB31000S) and the USB driver for ESXI downloadable from here: https://github.com/lamw/ax88179_178a-esxi

UPDATE (1/1/18) – Updated driver for ESXi 6.5, details here.

    • Download the driver – ESXI 6u2 driver – see above github link
    • Transfer the vib file to your ESXI host
scp vghetto-ax88179-esxi60u2.vib root@esxi:/
    • Ensure that your NUC has USB 3 adapter enabled
[root@esxi:~] lsusb
 Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0b95:1790 ASIX Electronics Corp. AX88179 Gigabit Ethernet
 Bus 001 Device 005: ID 8087:0a2b Intel Corp.
 Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0951:1665 Kingston Technology Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB
 Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
 Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    • Install the vib driver:
[root@esxi:~] esxcli software vib install -v /vghetto-ax88179-esxi60u2.vib -f
 Installation Result
 Message: Operation finished successfully.
 Reboot Required: false
 VIBs Installed: virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-ax88179-esxi60u2_6.0.0-1.0.0
 VIBs Removed:
 VIBs Skipped:
    • Verify that it was installed correctly:
[root@esxi:~] esxcli network nic list
 Name PCI Device Driver Admin Status Link Status Speed Duplex MAC Address MTU Description
 ------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ----------- ----- ------ ----------------- ---- --------------------------------------------
 vmnic0 0000:00:1f.6 e1000e Up Up 1000 Full b8:ae:ed:7d:e2:d5 1500 Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I219-V
 vusb0 Pseudo ax88179_178a Up Up 1000 Full 00:24:9b:16:33:f8 1500 Unknown Unknown

esxi_nics

Intel NUC NUC6i3SYH

For some time now I was looking for a replacement for my UDOO home server. After long research I decided to go for Intel NUC i3 version. Intel NUC Kit NUC6i3SYH is equipped with Intel’s newest architecture, the 6th generation Intel® Core™ i3-6100U processor.

NUC6i3SYH

It has truly impressive features such as massive 32GB DDR4 RAM support, M 2 SSD slot and SATA slot – see Intel website for more info.

Shopping List
 NUC6i3SYH  NUC_SM
 Samsung 250GB 850 EVO M.2 SSD  evo_sm
 8GB USB Flash Drive  USB_sm
2x 16GB of RAM – CT16G4SFD8213  memory_sm

NUC_box

NUC_inside

The NUC itself is not supported by VMware and not listed in the HCL. However, some essential components are listed therefore when installing the latest ESXi 6.0 with patch ESXi600-201601001 (Build 3380124) released in January 2016 you will not have any issues:

esxi_nuc