Just a heads up, if you are considering the latest 10th Generation of the Intel NUC (formally known as Frost Canyon) which are now available on Amazon, Newegg & SimplyNUC,
there is an issue to be aware of. The onboard Intel NIC is not detected by ESXi which prevents the installer from proceeding. This issue was reported by a fellow reader named Ben who reached out to me over the holiday and with his help, I was able to get access to the system. It looks like the these NUCs have a newer version of I219-V NIC which is currently not recognized by either the vmklinux e1000 or ne1000 driver.
UPDATE (01/20/20) - As shared on Twitter last Friday, we now have an updated ne1000 driver that will detect the Intel NIC found in the new 10th Gen NUC. You will need to replace the existing ne1000 driver with the new offline bundle, which can be downloaded from here. I would like to remind folks that the Intel NUC is not an officially supported platform from VMware and although have have enable this new system for the community, it does not mean this system or previous generations are supported.
Happy Friday! Thanks to one of our amazing VMware Engineers in China, Songtao (you may know his work on USB NICs for ESXi), we now have built-in NIC working with ESXi on #NUC10 🥳
— William Lam (@lamw) January 17, 2020
There are two options to author a new ESXi Image Profile containing the ne1000 driver, the easiest method is if you have an existing vCenter Server and using the vSphere H5 Client and Image Builder UI. Import latest ESXi 6.7 Update 3 Image Profile offline bundle along with the ne1000 offline bundle and then de-select the existing ne1000 driver as shown in the screenshot below.
Option 1: Use vSphere H5 Client and Image Builder UI in vCenter Server to create the new Image Profile with the ne1000 driver.
Option 2: Use PowerCLI and the Image Builder cmdlets to create the a new Image Profile with the ne1000 driver.
For those interested, here is the PCI ID mapping for the new NIC, which is also NOT on VMware's HCL.
0000:00:1f.6 Network controller Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (10) I219-V
Class 0200: 8086:0d4f Manually adding the PCI ID to the map files (which we had initially tried) will also not work as changes to the driver would be required to enable this device. At this time, if you wish to use this system with ESXi, it is recommended that you use the ESXi Native Driver for USB NIC Fling along with a supported USB NIC to get network connectivity and ESXi to install.