Posts Tagged ‘How to backup Vmware ESX server – unity ipcc ccm vmx images’

How to transfer files (GIGS in size) between  ESX 3.0.1 or 3.0  server as an FTP client

A friend of mine asked me if I can sell my CCIE server to him for $1500. Normally I won’t sell it, rather keep it as a monument, after I passed all my lab using this server.
But after several requests, to keep friendship I finally agreed to sell my server. After that the challenge was that I had to take all virtual machine backup.

On last Friday I bought a 1 terabyte (TB) hard disk (for AUD $200) and tried transferring files using winscp. I couldn’t transfer those files because those were big.

So finally I had to install vsftp in the ESX server and make a softlink of my /vmfs to a ftp users home directory then download using “File zilla ftp client”

Hardware details: HP ML-580, Dual Xeon 3.0 processor, 4 gig RAM. Loaded with CCM pub/sub, unity and IPCC.

Here is the procedure:

  1. SSH to ESX server – issue ‘chkconfig iptables off’ , service iptables stop (its culprit)
  2. Download vsftpd-1.2.0-4.i386.rpm
  3. Copy vsftpd-1.2.0-4.i386.rpm to your ESX server
  4. SSH to your ESX server console using a root account (make sure in /etc/sshd/sshd_config has root account enabled else use below method)
  5. After logging in using a normal user, become the root user (su -)
  6. Install the FTP server rpm -ivh vsftpd-1.2.0-4.i386.rpm –nodeps
  7. vi /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
    • Change anonymous_enable=NO (for security)
    • You need to add the following lines to force passive mode to only use ports 2050-5000.
  8. Start the FTP server with a service vsftpd start
  9. Create a user. Do not use ‘anonymous’ or ‘ftp‘.
    User and Pass cannot contain symbols like @ (single quote)

    • adduser mybackups.
    • passwd mybackups.
  10. To have the ftp server automatically start on boot, type:
    chkconfig –level 3 vsftpd on
  11. Remember you will probably have to change the permissions on the /vmfs/volume you are using as a FTP destination.
    chmod 1777 /vmfs/volumes/(UUID of Folder)
    You can also link the path to a simpler name, such as:
    ln -s /vmfs/volumes/UUID-NAME/backups /backups
    Then use just ‘/backups’ in the express configuration.
  12. Use filezillaftp  client to download the files from ESX server


Make sure that you have NTFS or Ext2/3 file system where you are going to store the files.
I had FAT32 and it won’t copy more than 4 gig file size. It will come up with an error saying that no desk space. How stupid is this error message, after all I had 1TB of HDD and still got that message that can’t, copy the file, disk running out of space.

Here are the limitations:

fat16 – 2 gig max
fat32 – 4 gig max
NTFS – Above 2TB
EXT2/3 – 2 TB

That’s all.

Cheers, Push