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Restarting the Management agents on an ESXi or ESX host (1003490)


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

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


For troubleshooting purposes, restart the management agents on your ESX host. This article provides steps to restart the management agents ( mgmt-vmware and vmware-vpxa) directly on ESXi/ESX.

This article applies to ESXi/ESX 3.x, 4.x, 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0.

Warning: If LACP is configured on the VSAN network, do not restart management agents on ESXi hosts running Virtual SAN. File a support request with VMware Support and note this Knowledge Base article ID (1003490) in the problem description. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

Caution: Restarting the management agents may impact any tasks that are running on the ESXi/ESX host at the time of the restart. For more information about identifying tasks running on an ESXi/ESX host, see Collecting information about tasks in VMware ESX and ESXi (1013003).

For more information, see Using ESXi Shell in ESXi 5.x (2004746).


Restarting the Management agents on ESXi

To restart the management agents on ESXi:

From the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI):

  1. Connect to the console of your ESXi host.
  2. Press F2 to customize the system.
  3. Log in as root.
  4. Use the Up/Down arrows to navigate to Restart Management Agents.

    Note: In ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0 this option is available under Troubleshooting Options.

  5. Press Enter.
  6. Press F11 to restart the services.
  7. When the service restarts, press Enter.
  8. Press Esc to log out of the system.

From the Local Console or SSH:

  1. Log in to SSH or Local console as root.
  2. Run these commands:

    /etc/init.d/hostd restart
    /etc/init.d/vpxa restart

    Note: In ESXi 4.x, run this command to restart the vpxa agent:

    service vmware-vpxa restart

    • To reset the management network on a specific VMkernel interface, by default vmk0, run the command:

      esxcli network ip interface set -e false -i vmk0; esxcli network ip interface set -e true -i vmk0

      Note: Using a semicolon (;) between the two commands ensures the VMkernel interface is disabled and then re-enabled in succession. If the management interface is not running on vmk0, change the above command according to the VMkernel interface used.

    • To restart all management agents on the host, run the command: restart

    • Check if LACP is enabled on DVS for version 5.x and greater. For more information, see vSphere 5.0 Networking Guide.
    • If LACP is not configured, the script can be safely executed.
    • If LACP is enabled and configured, do not restart management services using script. Instead restart independent services using the /etc/init.d/module restart command.
    • If the issue is not resolved, and you are restarting all the services that are a part of the script, take a downtime before proceeding to the script.

  • Note: For more information about restarting the management service on an ESXi host, see Service mgmt-vmware restart may not restart hostd in ESX/ESXi (1005566).

Restarting the Management agents on ESX

To restart the management agents on an ESX host:

  1. Log in to your ESX host as root from either an SSH session or directly from the console.
  2. Run this command:

    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 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. Run this command:

    service vmware-vpxa restart

  5. Press Enter.
  6. Type logout and press Enter to disconnect from the ESX host.

    If this process is successful, you see output similar to:

    [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:

If starting or stopping the management agent fails, try restarting it a second time. If the issue persists after trying the steps in this article:

Additional Information

See Also

Update History

01/17/2013 - Added command to restart the management agents in ESXi 06/25/2013 - Added command to restart vpxa in ESXi 4.x

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