Adding Realtek R8168 Driver to ESXi 5.5.0 ISO

Update 20 March 2014. With the release of VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Update 1, this blog post is once again very popular. A lot of other articles, blogs and forum discussions have been using the Realtek R8168 driver link to my website, and this is starting to take an impact on my hosting provider. I therefore have had to removed the direct links to the R8168 & R8169 drivers on this page. These drivers are very easy to extract from the latest ESXi 5.1.0 Update 2 offline depot file which you can get from . You just need to open the .zip file in a 7zip/winzip and extract the net-r8168 driver and use it with the ESXi Customizer.


Sorry for the inconvenience.


The ESXi 5.5.0 Build 1331820  that came out yesterday, did not include any Realtek R8168 or R8169 driver in it. So if your homelab ESXi host only has these Realtek 8168 network cards, you need to build a custom ISO.

The most simple tool to use is Andreas Peetz’s (@VFrontDEESXi Customizer 2.7.2 tool. The ESXi Customizer tool allows you to select the ESXi 5.5.0 ISO file and include into it a new Driver in .vib format.

You can then download and extract the VMware Bookbank NET-R8168 driver from vSphere 5.1 ISO or download it from the following link for your conveniance.



Launch the ESXi Customizer and build your new .ISO file


This will create a ESXi-Custom.ISO file that you can burn to a CD and use to install vSphere 5.5 on your host.

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  • Jung-Chang Chen

    It helps me a lot 🙂

  • This solution worked fine on my own homelab environment with Realtek NIC.
    Greatly thanks!

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  • schweinebaermann

    Works Fine on MSI H87-G43 (MSI MS-7816) with the Realtek 8111E.

  • klutch14u

    Any knowledge or word on a driver for the ASMEDIA asm106x SATA controllers? I have 8 datastores in my hosts, 6 on the onboard which are recognized but 2 on little 2 port ASMedia controllers and am dead in the water

    • I’m sorry, I don’t know which driver the ASMEDIA is using. What driver did it use in ESXi 5.1 ? Can you not extract that driver and cook it in the ESXi 5.5 ISO ?
      Even better, because you seem to be able to boot in ESXi 5.5, why not just install the correcponding driver vib ?

      • none

        How would one find out the driver used in ESXi 5.1?

        I have the following which doesn’t detect any drivers

        0000:02:00.0 SATA controller Mass storage controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. ASM1062 Serial ATA Controller
        Class 0106: 1b21:0612

      • klutch14u

        Same thing that none said below. It works native in 5.1, how do I figure out what driver in the 5.1 ISO it’s using?

    • Check out
      On how to import the VIB for the ASMEDIA asm106x.

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  • Wenle ZHeng

    I have issue with ASMEDIA asm106x SATA controllers on ESXi 5.5 too.

  • klutch14u

    Please help me Obi Wan

  • dimage

    Realtek RTL8112L not work

    • The drivers taken from the vSphere 5.1 ISO are for the 8168 and 8169. It’s luck that it works with some other Realtek drivers.

  • dimage

    Motherboard p7p55d-e lx

  • Carlos

    Thanks!! Works good on Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIF (RTL8111F)

    • Santhosh Govindan

      can you please help me know the vib you used.

      • Saesch Mo

        Get you a proper vib file? Can you provide this one? Thank you

    • Saesch Mo

      Hi, can you provide the vib file, please? Thank you very much

  • Dave

    Thanks…it worked for my Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P boards dual Realtek 8111D’s. It is treating me pretty good still since Gigabyte gave me a non-listed F14D BIOS to enable VT-D even though it’s a P55 board. Works great!

  • Rizzar

    I tried to do this but the NIC only hold network connectivity for a few minutes after booting. Can you suggest anything to fix this?

    • Paul

      I ran into the same problem with ESXI 5.1 where i boot up and the connection stay up for a few min and drops. Still can’t figure out what can cause this (been troubleshooting for 2days now)

      • Rizzar

        It ended up being issues with it not being supported. I disabled the onboard nics and added an Intel Card that was supported.

        • Paul

          I figured it would somewhat be related to that not being supported, but I was doubting myself (when in doubt ask, is that the saying heh)

          Thanks Rizzar! I will be purchasing an Intel card this weekend to give it a shot. Out of curiosity what type of Intel card did you install?

          • Some people have said it works with the 8111E. Maybe it’s the 8169 driver… not 100% sure.

      • Paul

        thank you both, i installed my intel card a week back and everything is running smoothly.

      • JohnOCFII

        I ran into a similar issue. Elsewhere on the Internet (I wish I could remember where, so I could give credit — it was in in a comment section on another blog) a fellow realized he had this problem on a dual-boot system after running in Windows. He found that if you completely removed power from the system (shut down, remove power cord) for a short period of time and then booted straight to ESXi, the Realtek network interface would work fine. I had nothing to lose, so I shutdown my ASRock 970 Extreme4 with Reaktek NIC, unplugged, waited 30 minutes, and powered up. It has been running fine for about 60 hours now.

        • SomeESXGuy

          This is it! You’ve just solved a weird puzzle for me. I’ve got the same network connectivity problem after reboot. I’ve been running ESXI5 with Windows 8 for a while, but after an upgrade to ESXI5.5 it stopped working. I’ve reimaged and reinstalled using different images several times without results. Simply unplugging the power cable and waiting until the Ethernet link light disappears (less than 1 min) solves this problem. Thanks JohnOCFII!

          • JohnOCFII

            Very happy to help! It is such an odd problem that I just want the word to get out there on how to get past it. My machine continues to run fine, including upgrades to the latest 5.5 release.

  • badboyilprimo

    i did it all and still didnt detect the network adapter

    • What kind of Realtek NIC do you think you have ?

  • johnjamesmarsh

    Excellent instructions and script! Worked perfectly with my MSI Z87-G43. Thanks a lot

  • Cristian

    It works great!!!! Thank you

  • Slingshot

    Awesome worked for me on ASUSTek Sabertooth x58 with RTL8110

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  • Carmine Di Marco

    thank you

  • Marcopolo

    Thanks a log for help!! Works good for me!

  • ShunYea


  • Pilow

    Hi, do you know a way to make Realtek 8111G working ? I’ve got a Shuttle SH87R6 and it comes with 8111G, not 8111E… so, i can’t make it work… injectiong the 8168 Realtak drivers make the network card appear (link up/down, you can configure an IP) but no DHCP, no flow through the card… any help ?

    • Rob

      Same problem here, any updated VIB’s for the 8111G’s?

      • The drivers taken from the vSphere 5.1 ISO are for the 8168 and 8169. It’s luck that it works with the 8111E.

    • Did you try the 8169 driver ? If that doesn’t work, I can’t help you much, because I only re-use the drivers from vSphere 5.1. Give vSphere 5.1 a go, and see if any drivers from that version works on the SH87R6,

      • grant tailor

        the customizer does not create any iso instead creates a folder called “iso”

  • Norman

    Erik, thank you for the VIBs. Are you going to create offline bundles which can be used to create custom ISO using PowerCLI? Offline bundles can be created with Andreas’ Peetz Community Packaging Tools.


    • I won’t do it, but I think Andreas might add these drivers to his Offline bundle. Why recreate the wheel ?

  • Thanks for posting this… just updated to the latest esxi, and wasn’t able to get network access.. fortunately I had an intel nic laying around… may update my image later though.

  • Paul

    sorry for my ignorance I am new to ESXI. I click on the .vib link which opens another page and i copied the context into notepad and saved it as .vib. When using the customizer tool and browsing to the location of the .vib file, which i saved. I later get an error half way through building the iso. I’m i doing this correctly? I see most people on here are successful with this but i’m not please help.


    • Try “Save Link As…” to keep the integrity of the file in Binary mode. If you pass it in Notepad then save it, it’s not going to work anymore.

  • ali

    very god tank Mr erik

  • Micah

    Erik, you have two VIB files listed above. Do we run the customizer twice (once for both) or do we just do 3vmw

  • Paul

    With the free esxi hypervisor you are limited to only one feature. I guess we can’t use vmotion or any of the cool features. Unless someone has a workaround 🙂

  • Anonymous Coward

    Many many thanks to you sir!

  • David Derrenberger

    Hey there,
    I ran the ISO update for a dell xps box with a realtek 8168 nic, I can get passed the install and set up the IP address, but cannot ping out of or into the box. I can see the driver when i do a vib list and lspci shows the nic as a realtek. Any ideas to get the NIC to ‘wake up” and actually work?

  • jet

    works with amd Pheonom 9500! and asrock mobo with 8111G and 2 gigs of ram… so many work arounds, thank goodness for nix!

  • jet

    FYI I added the vip for 8168 after I already installed esxi 5.5 with an intel nic

  • Mike Kolling

    Hi, is it possible to add the drivers to your esxi after its installed? I had a dual intel network card and it recognised that and runs with that, but would be good to get the realtek one built into the shuttle to work as well.
    Do I have to reinstall esxi?

    • You can install the Realtek drivers without having to re-install ESXi. You just need to add them on the ESXi host using “esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore/VMware_bootbank_net-r8169_6.011.00-2vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib”

  • dave

    “You can then download and extract the VMware Bookbank NET-R8168 driver from vSphere 5.1 ISO or download it from the following link for your conveniance”.



    Hello, it seems as if the links provided cant be accessed? I cant download. Can you please help me out? Im a real beginner so please be easy on me. Thank you 🙂

    • Sorry I removed the direct file links. Download the ESXi 5.1.0 Update 2 ISO file from VMware and just use 7zip to extract it, and retrieve the drivers

  • Der Scheiwe

    R8168 works fine for me. -> ASUS P8875-m Realtek 8111 F

    thanks for that tutorial!

  • John Smith

    I get the following error when I use the ESXi Customizer:

    Does that mean I downloaded the VIB file wrong? All I did was right click the link and save as.

    • Retrieve the ESXi 5.1.0 Update 2 ISO file and extract it to the local disk, you can then take the VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.510.0.0.799733.vib file

  • Muchacha Grande

    The links to the vibs don’t work. Please help…

  • Thiago


    I’ve installed in my home lab, but after 5 minutes it loses network connection and after this i cant connect.

    Do you have any idea what’s going on?


  • Paul

    Hi Erik-
    I followed your instructions for injecting a driver into the ISO when building my SHR87R6 VMware homelab about 3 months ago. The iso for 5.5 worked with the customizer just fine. I don’t recall which driver .vib file I have but that’s not the issue im seeing now. What im encountering now (using all the same hardware) is when injecting the same .vib the installation takes HOURS. In all seriousness, it “scanned for local drives” for over 2 hours before it found my USB stick and only one of my hard drives. I tested my originally customized 5.5 and installation ran as expected, I tested the 5.5 update 1 w/o the nic driver and got as far along as the no network warning screen. I even re-downloaded the 5.5 update 1 iso directly from VMware and still had no luck..
    Im not sure why the installation would take this long (8+ hours- I went to bed and didn’t even check it this am…)
    Any ideas?

  • Mark-in-Atlanta

    Just a quick note to thank you very much for this information. It works just fine and saved me a lot of time and research.

  • Alex

    Hell yes! Got this to work with my piece of shit inspiron. Thank you so much.

  • fseka

    I’ve tried the link ESXi 5.1.0 Update 2
    But despite registering I have not the right to download it?
    Any ideas?

    Many thanks


    • Carlos Carvalhaes

      My network driver is SiS191, I not found on the internet the VMWare ESX driver.
      Can anyone help me?

  • Boyan Biandov

    Confirming that net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib does NOT work with Intel’s gigabit NIC 8086:153A; anyone successful in using that NIC?

  • Needy

    upload the drivers to mega or some other free hosting

  • Don Lawn

    Thank you so much, (and to Andreas Peetz a donation) for the first thing to go smoothly in 3 days. 🙂 So good to see something that looked like another can of worms be so simple. PS. I just searched google for that driver name, and it found it in a Dropbox. Thanks to whoever made that available also.

    • Don Lawn

      Actually, I spoke too soon. While the ISO generation appeared to go smoothly, the install is still not recognising my network card. I installed Ubuntu on the same box to find out what type of card it is, and it says … Realtek …. RTL8111/8168B …. Kernel Driver in se: r8169
      So I added the 8169 driver. Should probably have done both jsut in case. Will try that now.

      • Don Lawn

        That fixed it. Thanks Again

  • mony
  • mony
  • I get the message: “You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product.”
    How can I get my hands on the drivers?
    Thank you.

    • I Googled the file names and somebody has them both in the dropbox.
      Thanks very much!

  • grant tailor

    the customizer does NOT create any iso instead creates a folder called “iso”

  • Works fine with Realtek 8169.

  • guido_sarducci

    Also worked for me with ASUS EX58-EXTREME and Realtek 8111D…

  • iam
  • Ali-Almuslem
  • Saesch Mo

    Hi and merry Christmas

    I tried to make a oem file. But I’m not able to do it. I made something wrong and I don’t know what. My iso crashed and the installation failed.

    I tried to find a step by step guide but I didn’t find one.

    Maybe one of you can support me and can create a file for me?

    Thanks in advance


    • Saesch Mo

      Can someone provide the vib file for RTL 8111F network adapter?

      Thank you very much

  • patrick

    Thanks for these excellent instructions and tips. Installing ESXi on my Shuttle SH67H3 was a matter of minutes instead of days.

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  • donald fossouo

    Hi do you have a vib file for dell inspiron n5110 ?

    I look for it but no result thanks

  • AMR

    can this work in vmware workstation ? because i tried to install esxi 6.0 in vmware workstation 10.0 and give me the same error….

  • Not supported Windows 10. I’m can’t run esxi-customizer. 🙁

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  • noriga

    Hi, I know this is quiet an old post but I was wondering whether anyone knows if this is now applicable to esxi 6.0?

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  • Кирилл Кулаков

    Hi! Help!
    Error with installation esxi 6.5 (i add driver r8169 for my net card r8139 in iso image)
    VIB VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.510.0.0.799733 is obsoluted by {‘VMware_bootbank_native-misc-drivers_6.5.0-0.04564106’}