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Service mgmt-vmware restart may not restart hostd in ESX/ESXi (1005566)


  • The command service mgmt-vmware restart does not restart hostd.
  • The script gets stuck when stopping the service.
  • The SSH session to the ESX/ESXi host becomes unresponsive.
  • hostd fails to restart.
  • Neither of these commands will restart hostd successfully on an ESXi/ESX host:
    • ./sbin/
    • ./etc/init.d/hostd restart


This issue occurs if the config.xml file, located at /etc/vmware/hostd/ and the proxy.xml file,  located at /etc/vmware/hostd/ is empty or has invalid entries. This issue may also occur if there are IPv6 entries in the /etc/hosts file that are associated with the localhost.


To resolve this issue, manually stop and restart the stuck service.
To stop and restart the stuck service:
  1. Log in as root to the ESXi/ESX host command-line via the physical console or via KVM connection.
  2. Navigate to the /var/run/vmware directory with the command:

    # cd /var/run/vmware

  3. Run this command to list the files vmware-hostd.PID and watchdog-hostd.PID:

    # ls -l vmware-hostd.PID watchdog-hostd.PID

  4. Determine theProcess ID (PID) management service. View the contents of the vmware-hostd.PID file with the command:

    # cat vmware-hostd.PID

    For example:

    [root@vmware]# cat vmware-hostd.PID

  5. Use the resulting PID to kill the process.

    Caution: Use the kill -9 command with care. It kills the process of the supplied PID without exception or confirmation.

    # kill -9 PID

    In this example, you run kill -9 1191.

  6. Delete the vmware-hostd.PID and watchdog-hostd.PID files with the command:

    # rm vmware-hostd.PID watchdog-hostd.PID

  7. Start the management service:

    • For ESX, run the command:

      # service mgmt-vmware start

    • For ESXi, run the command:

      # /etc/init.d/hostd start
  • This issue may also occur if the /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml is blank or has invalid entries. If a backup of the config.xml exists in the same directory, the issue may be resolved by replacing the config.xml with this backup file.
  • This issue also occurs if the /etc/vmware/hostd/proxy.xml file is empty or has invalid entries. This issue may be resolved by copying the proxy.xml file from a working host and then restarting the hostd service.

Additional Information

Note: In the hostd.log file, when the proxy.xml file is empty, you see the messages similar to:

[2012-07-30 04:13:26.764 FFFCAE80 verbose 'App'] Plugin 9 statically linked
[2012-07-30 04:13:26.764 FFFCAE80 info 'Proxysvc'] Proxy config filepath is /etc/vmware/hostd/proxy.xml
[2012-07-30 04:13:26.765 FFFCAE80 panic 'App'] error: no element found
[2012-07-30 04:13:26.765 FFFCAE80 panic 'App'] backtrace:
[00] rip 16d00c33
[01] rip 16b9303e
[02] rip 16b327a2



hostd-service-fails  hostd-service-stops-responding

See Also

Update History

04/03/2012 - Added additional cause and resolution 02/05/2013 - Added ESXi 5.1.x to Products

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