Configuring an ESX Linux guest after a kernel update

After updating a Red Hat Enterprise guest on a VMware ESX system to a new kernel, you may find that the guest no longer recognizes any of your VMXNet network devices. Here’s what you need to do:

On the guest:

/etc/init.d/network stop
rmmod pcnet32
rmmod vmxnet
depmod -a
modprobe vmxnet
/etc/init.d/network start

You will probably have to delete and then recreate your existing interfaces — just be sure to keep a backup! Take special note of the name and MAC address for each of the VMXNet devices you want to connect to.

If the guest is a clone of another guest, you should probably remove and then re-add the network interfaces in the new guest’s profile settings. This will ensure that you’re actually using a unique new interface for each.