After my lack of success with FREESCO, I am still on the hunt for a decent lightweight router to run in ESXi to simulate a branch office scenario for my lab.  I looked at IPCop which looks like it would do the job, but it was 61MB.  Similarly PFSense looks very good, but not at over 100MB.  I then started my search again and I don’t know how I missed it – m0n0wall, 9MB.  This is much more like it:

Download the image generic-pc-vm from here

Copy to your datastore and register the VM.  I had to remove the included NICs and add my own.  As my goal is to route between 2 subnets, add 3 NICs (host only, or whatever, depending on what you are trying to achieve).

Boot the VM and in the console you need to go through the menu to designate your NICs.  You need a WAN interface, so I designated them as follows:

LANem1VM Network - used for management
WANem0Host Only
OPT1em2Host Only
OPT2em3Host Only

You can do this by going through option 1 on the menu and setting VLANs if appropriate, or just press enter and it will skip to NIC designation.

Then you need to set an IP address on your LAN interface, so choose option 2 and set an IP address you can reach from your LAN, then you can http://x.x.x.x to the IP address and login with ‘admin’ and ‘mono’

I was looking for a virtual router for VMware ESXi for my home lab and I came across FREESCO – a nice lightweight very simple to use linux router on a floppy disk.  No worries for all you command-line-ophobes, it is managed via a web GUI.



Instructions 1

Instructions 2


Update – this looked so promising but I received errors on booting and never got it working at all.  I tried the latest floppy image from sourceforge, but the same – no joy, so I looked for an alternative: m0n0wall

I found this handy tip on the VMWare Community Forum when suffering from a jerky mouse and screen draw:

The VMWare tools is not installing the correct driver for video processing.  In this case you will need to update the driver manually as well as increase the amount of video ram assigned to the VM.


  1. First off you’ll need your VM to be running the latest VMware Tools and be on VM Hardware version 7.
  2. Start by shutting the VM down. Edit the settings of the VM and ensure its Video RAM setting is set between 8MB and 32MB of memory.
  3. After applying the Video RAM setting, start the VM up again, login to Windows and open up the Device Manager.
  4. Expand the “Display Adapters” tree item and right-click your existing Video driver (this should be called “VMware SVGA II”) – select “Update Driver Software”.
  5. Browse for the driver and navigate to the ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\drivers\wddm_video’ folder. Complete the wizard and you should end up with a driver labeled as “VMware SVGA 3D (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM)” being installed.
  6. Restart your VM when prompted.
  7. Once you are back in Windows check your Device Manager to ensure you now have the correct driver installed. It should now look like this:




  1. Another point worth noting is that VMware state a minimum of 8MB of Video RAM is required when using this driver, however they recommend 32MB for best performance.


According to VMware KB article 1016770 the WDDM driver is installed by default with Windows 7. However with Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2 and Vista, it is not installed by default but still supported.

01. April 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Computers · Tags: ,

I was trying to install ESXi on my desktop machine but the installer appears to hang at the press F10 to continue. Turns out it is to do with the ps2 keyboard – simply plug a USB one in at key press prompt and continue installation 🙂