Over the weekend I received an interesting inquiry from a customer who had been playing with the ESXi-Arm Fling and wanted to know if it could run Victron Venus OS? I had never heard of Venus OS before, but a quick search online lead me to the company called Victron Energy which produces and sells various types of electrical chargers and they also have their own operating system to manage their software called Venus OS:
Venus OS is the software running on our Cerbo GX monitoring system, as well as its predecessors the Color Control GX, Venus GX and more. Also, it is in the GX versions of our MultiPlus-II and EasySolar-II inverter/chargers.
Venus OS can be installed on a Raspberry Pi (rPI) and the customer attempted to run it as a VM using ESXi-Arm on rPI using the techniques shared here and here but found that it was unable to boot with a message stating no kernel installed.
Given this was beyond my skillset, I pinged Cyprien, who works on ESXi-Arm at VMware to see if he had any ideas? In less than 30 minutes, he not only found out the reason the previous techniques could not be used but also came up with a quick workaround. Venus OS is a 32-bit OS and is not based on Debian and this is why you can not simply boot using the Debian Installer. The solution requires a custom Arm64 linux kernel that includes UEFI support to be built and installed to be able to boot Venus OS running as a VM on ESXi-Arm. For more information, please see the detailed instructions below and big thanks to Cyprien for his help over the weekend!