Adding Realtek 8139 Driver to ESXi 6

Note: This is not an official guide, Backup data is required before you apply the driver.

My PC has two NICs:

  1. Intel I217-LM
  2. Realtek RTl-8139

and #2 Realtek 8139 is not supported by VMware.

There are some guides about customize EXSi installation ISO to support the NIC, I’m trying to find a way apply the driver without reinstall EXSi.


Here is a page: which contains many NIC drivers. I downloaded the offline bunlde driver for Realteck 8139


Follow the instruction: to upload offline bundle to EXSi host and change EXSi host to maintance mode


SSH to EXSi and apply the driver by command:

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/ –no-sig-check

It prompts me:

VIB Realtek_bootbank_net-r8139too_0.9.28-1’s acceptance level is community, which is not compliant with the ImageProfile acceptance level partner
To change the host acceptance level, use the ‘esxcli software acceptance set’ command.


Change the Host Acceptance Level

Follow the instruction to update host acceptance level:


esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported



Apply the driver again:

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/storage name/ –no-sig-check
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Realtek_bootbank_net-r8139too_0.9.28-1
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:



Reboot EXSi host and Exit maintenance mode

The NIC can be recognized by VMware now: