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sg_inq command takes a long time to run on ESX 4.0 and later (1029157)

Details

Linux virtual machines running on ESX 4.0 and later might exhibit the following symptoms when you are running the command sg_inq -vvv /dev/sda from the guest: 
  1. The command intermittently takes a long time to run (a minute or more): Using the LSI Logic adapter in async IO mode might result in mishandling of the pinning of guest memory pages. This condition might cause the guest to retry the sg_inq command indefinitely.

  2. The sg_inq command does not return expected data: SCSI inquiry Vital Product Data (VPD) pages are not supported by default. Therefore a request for a SCSI inquiry VPD page might not return inquiry data.

Solution

  1. The issue where the sg_inq command might take a long time to run is resolved in ESX 4.1 by correctly handling the pinning of memory pages. Alternatively, you may choose not to upgrade to ESX 4.1 by working around the issue as follows: 

    Use the “lsi logic sync IO mode” by adding scsi<adapter number>.async = "FALSE" to the .vmx configuration file.

  2. To work around the issue where the SCSI inquiry command does not return expected data, enable the disk.EnableUUID parameter in the .vmx configuration file as follows:

    disk.EnableUUID = "TRUE"

Keywords

sg_inq command, slow virtual machine, command time out

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