Back in July with the release of vSphere 7.0 Update 3f, I had shared that all Intel i219 devices from the Community Networking Driver Fling for ESXi is now part of default ESXi 7.0 Update 3f installation. This simplified the ESXi installation process as customers no longer needed to create a custom ESXi ISO that contains the Fling driver.
While the e1000-community module within the Community Networking Driver Fling for ESXi has been productized, the Fling also includes another driver module called igc-community which adds support for Intel i220, i225 & i226 PCIe-based network devices. For recent Intel NUC platforms like the Intel NUC 11 (Panther Canyon & Tiger Canyon), Intel NUC 11 Extreme (Beast Canyon), Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon) and Intel NUC 12 Pro (Wall Street Canyon) the Fling is still required for ESXi to recognize the onboard network interfaces.
As of vSphere 8, which was recently announced at VMware Explore US, I am happy 😆 (or jacked, jazzed, or pumped) to share that the Community Networking Driver Fling for ESXi will be fully productized! Customers who install ESXi 8.0 will no longer need to create a custom ESXi Image and the network devices listed on the Fling page will automatically be detected by ESXi.