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Date:      Thu, 28 Mar 2013 15:55:30 -0500
From:      dweimer <>
To:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   FreeBSD on VMware ESXi with PCI Pass Through enabled
Message-ID:  <>

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Just curious if anyone has any good recommendations of settings for 
running FreeBSD under VMware ESXi 5.1 with PCI(e) pass through enabled.  
I have been doing some initial testing with a new motherboard processor 
and RAM.  That I am hoping to be able to run 3 Servers on.

The intended virtual machines for the setup.
1.) A FreeBSD system to run Bacula, which will require PCI pass through 
for an eSATA drive dock so backups volumes can be Rotated.
2.) A FreeBSD system to host my web/email server, no pass through 
3.) A FreeNAS box host SMB shares and iSCSI, will use a PCI pass 
through to allow direct access to 4 Hard drives, attached to a separate 
SATA controller.

Current Hardware Information:
eSATA Controller for backups:  Koutech IO-PESA111 PCI Express SATA II 
(3.0Gb/s) - uses Silicon Image 3132 Chipset
System Board:  ASUS F2A85-M PRO FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4)
CPU:  AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 100W 
Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU)
RAM:  CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 
(PC3 12800)

I still need to add an additional controller SATA controller for the 
FreeNAS VM, but so far testing with a new machine built for the Bacula 
install has only been consistently able to trigger a complete core dump 
and crash of the ESXi host machine, sometimes at boot of the VM with PCI 
pass through, sometimes not until a load has been applied to the 
external hard drive on the Pass through SATA controller.

I have tried the following things to fix this that I have come across 
while searching for help.

Added the following to /boot/loader.conf:

Added the following to the Vmware Virtual Machine Configuration:
   pciPassthru0.msiEnabled = "FALSE"

    Dean E. Weimer

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