VMware ESXi 6.5: F5 BIGIP VE fails to install

On this post we will describe an issue we recently had deploying BIG-IP VE versions 11, 12 and 13 on VMware ESXi 6.5.

Problem details

F5 BIGIP VE is failing to install on VMware ESXi 6.5 with error message “Failed to deploy VM: postNFCData failed: Capacity of uploaded disk is larger than requested” and “generic system failures”. On the few occasions the VM upload was successful, BIG-IP would boot and then get into a reboot loop with Kernel Panics.


This happens when we were using a browser to connect to ESXi 6.5. VMware Sphere client is not released anymore, the last release is for ESXi 6.0, so it is not officially supported for ESXi 6.5.

After some research and reading similar complains we found out the issue was not with the F5 VE, but with ESXi 6.5 and the clients (Host Client, vSphere Client, Browser, HTML5, etc).


The suggested workaround was to use OVFTool. This tool is a CLI utility that can be installed on Windows, Linux and MAC.

The way to run ovftool and parameters is shown below:

$ ovftool [parameter] source target

-n / –nameTarget VM name
-vf / –vmFolderFolder for storing the VM
–acceptAllEulasAutomatically accept EULA
-ds / –datastoreTarget datastore
-dm / –diskModeDisk provisioning mode (for vSphere: thin, thick or eagerZeroedThick)
–net:NIC-name:portgroupNetwork binding (portgroup is mapped to NIC name)
–ipProtocolIP protocoll: IPv4, IPv6
–propAssigning an OVA/OVF parameter (e.g. Root password)
–deploymentOptionSelecting a vApp configuration (if supported by template)
–powerOnTurning on VM after provisioning

The target locator needs to have a specific schema. Some examples for vSphere:



Additional examples can be found in the utility online help:

$ ovftool -h | less 
$ ovftool -h locators | less
$ ovftool -h examples | less

The OVA/OVF source does not need to be stored on the local hard drive, it can also be downloaded from a web server (http://pathhttps://path) or FTP server (ftp://pfad).

After some try and error, we got with the right command for installing the BIG-IP VE:

ovftool –acceptAllEulas -dm=thin -n=”BIG-IP-LAB” –net:Management=”VM Network” –net:External=”VM Network” –net:Internal=”VM Network” –net:HA=”VM Network” /vmware/ISO/BIGIP- vi://root@

You just need to replace the OVA file name and path and IP address of your ESXi server to match your environment. You can also map the correct VMWare networks to the correct interfaces with the –net switch when you run the tool, or just assign all the interfaces to a Network and then later modify the interface settings depending on your network topology.

If you need any assistance or help installing Virtual Appliances on VMware, don’t hesitate to contact us.