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Monday, May 16, 2011

Restarting the Management agents on an ESX

Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server


  • Cannot connect ESX to VirtualCenter/vCenter Server
  • Cannot connect directly to ESX Server from the VMware Infrastructure Client/vSphere Client
  • You cannot stop or start a virtual machine
  • A virtual machine is shown as running in vCenter Server when it is not
  • vCenter Server shows the error:

    Virtual machine creation may fail because agent is unable to retrieve VM creation options from the host


For troubleshooting purposes, it may be necessary to restart the management agents on your ESX host. This article provides you with the steps to restart the management agents (mgmt-vmware and vmware-vpxa) directly on ESX or ESXi.
This article applies ESX/ESXi 3.x and ESX/ESXi 4.x.
Caution: Restarting the management agents may impact any tasks that may be running on the ESX or ESXi host at the time of the restart. For more information about identifying tasks running on an ESX or ESXi host, see Collecting information about tasks in VMware ESX and ESXi (1013003).


Restarting the Management agents on ESX

To restart the management agents on ESX host:
  1. Log in to your ESX host as root from either an SSH session or directly from the console.
  2. Type service mgmt-vmware restart.

    Caution: Ensure Automatic Startup/Shutdown of virtual machines is disabled before running this command or you risk rebooting the virtual machines. For more information, see Restarting hostd (mgmt-vmware) on ESX Server Hosts Restarts Hosted Virtual Machines Where Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown is Enabled (1003312) and Determining whether virtual machines are configured to autostart (1000163).
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type service vmware-vpxa restart.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Type logout and press Enter to disconnect from the ESX host.
If this process is successful, it appears as:
[root@server]# service mgmt-vmware restart
Stopping VMware ESX Server Management services:
VMware ESX Server Host Agent Watchdog [ OK ]
VMware ESX Server Host Agent [ OK ]
Starting VMware ESX Server Management services:
VMware ESX Server Host Agent (background) [ OK ]
Availability report startup (background) [ OK ]
[root@server]# service vmware-vpxa restart
Stopping vmware-vpxa: [ OK ]
Starting vmware-vpxa: [ OK ]

Note: If there are failures listed:

Restarting the Management agents on ESXi

To restart the management agents on ESXi:
  1. Connect to the console of your ESXi host.
  2. Press F2 to customize the system.
  3. Login as root.
  4. Using the Up/Down arrows navigate to Restart Management Agents.

    Note: This option is available under Troubleshooting Options in ESXi 4.1.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Press F11 to restart the services.
  7. When the service has been restarted, press Enter.
  8. Press Esc to logout of the system.
If starting or stopping the management agent fails try restarting it a second time. If it still fails please file a support request with VMware Support. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

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