Installing the Dell Utility Partition for Use with VMWare ESX - KB Article - 288955
VMWare ESX Does Not Allow the Specification of the Bootloader Location
It is easy to install and use the utility partition with most Linux distributions by installing the Linux bootloader to the first linux (boot) partition. This leaves the Master Boot Record (MBR) untouched, which will allow for the <F10> option to load the Dell Utility Partition.
VMWare ESX, however, installs the bootloader to the MBR and does not provide an option to install the bootloader elsewhere. To allow the utility partition to function as designed and be able to retain use of the VMWare installation, some additional steps are needed.
Install the Dell Utility Partition with VMWare ESX
If installing to a system which uses a RAID controller you must have a RAID array created and initialized prior to performing these steps.
Create additional partitions on the drive as needed.
Do not modify or delete the existing partition, /dev/sda1, as this is the utility partition.
After the installation of VMWware is complete, login to the service console as root.
At a command line, type mount | grep boot, and then press the <Enter> key. The partition where /boot is located is displayed. Example: /dev/sda2 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
Locate and change the boot=/dev/sda line in the /etc/lilo.conf file to referrence the value returned by the mount | grep boot command. Example: Where /dev/sda2 is returned, you would change the value to boot=/dev/sda2.
Save the changes to the /etc/lilo.conf file.
At a command line, type lilo -v, and then press the <Enter> key. The VMWware bootloader is written to the first sector of the boot partition specified in /etc/lilo.conf.
The output should end with Writing boot sector. If it does not, the boot sector was not written correctly.
Boot to the DSA and re-install the utility partition.
Pressing the <F10> key should now successfully load the utility partition during boot.
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