Category Archives: Linux

ESXi Raw Device Mapping

I was looking how to manage a dedicated storage via Vmware ESXi and the biggest questions I had was how to store the files and how to recover them if the virtual machine crashes, or the motherboard for the ESXi server.

I didn’t want to use the VMFS file system to store the files, as I didn’t see really a tool to recover files from a damaged file system.

The VMFS file system is related not meant for data storage, and I only use it to store the virtual machines that I use.

ESXi has a very nice feature despite no official support where a hard drive can be passthrough to a virtual machine.

Here are the commands to be entered

cd /dev/disks
ls -l

Look for new hard drive name.

Create a vdmk file which is a passthrough, in my case:

vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____WDC_WD60EFRX2D68L0BN1_________________________WD2DWXB1HB4J6U1F /vmfs/volumes/SSD850Pro/Openmediavault/BTRFS6TB.vmdk

Add the vdmk to your virtual machine, Openmediavault in my case, and here you go. This is absolutely awesome as I am able to have Btrfs on the hard drives in passthrough mode to Vmware ESXI.


I discovered Openmediavault totally by chance as I was looking at Freenas.

I looked at Freenas and I was absolutely not a fan of it for several reasons:

  • Unix
  • ECC significant memory requirements due to ZFS
  • Jail systems to isolate processes

Openmediavault is a very nice distribution made by Volker Thiele (former Freenas) based on Debian.

The distribution has evolved significantly since the beta version and is now available in version 4.

I use it as a virtual machine through Vmware ESXI, and passthrough of the hard drives.


I was looking for a way to automate my file downloads with cloud based file hosting services. I searched for a windows tool and did not find what I wanted. None of the softwares had the features I was looking for. I was looking for a software where I could create a text file with the hyperlinks and I would download the files on it own. In case of captchas, it could send me an email or download the picture so that I could access it not via the webpage and answer it. I stumbled across Plowshare by pure chance.

Plowshare4 is a linux script software that can accept a text file with hyperlinks and go and download the files on its own. It is a great tool because it also has incorporated many file hosting providers as well as the waiting periods between files, so once you have created the text file, you can let Plowshare work on its own. It is of course not true in the case of a file hosting service that uses captcha for validation. Plowshare4 actually downloads the captcha image for validation and let you enter the text for validation in command line. I could have written a script to let me know when a captcha image has been downloaded and send to me via email for validation. An other option would be to use a captcha solver. For now, I validate the captchas manually. I installed Plowshare4 in my Kubuntu virtual machine, and it is working like a charm.

A couple of examples:

$ plowdown
$ plowdown -m file_with_links.txt