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Snapshot quiescing fails on Linux guests after upgrading to ESXi and VMware Tools 5.1 (2038606)


  • Linux based virtual machines fail to take quiesced snapshots after upgrading ESXi and VMware Tools to 5.1.
  • Using the vSphere Client to take a quiesced snapshot fails immediately with the error:

    The guest OS has reported an error during quiescing. The error code was: 3 The error message was: Error when enabling the sync provider.

  • The hostd.log of the host running the virtual machine contains errors similar to:

    [3CB9EB90 verbose 'vm:/vmfs/volumes/<datastore>/<VMNAME>/<VMNAME>.vmx'] Handling message _vmx##: The guestOS has reported an error during quiescing.
    --> The error code was: 3
    --> The error message was: Error when enabling the sync provider.

  • In a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) virtual machine, the messages.log file (located at /var/log) contains entries similar to:

    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackupStart
    [ debug] [vmbackup] Using quiesceApps = 1, quiesceFS = 1, allowHWProvider = 1,execScripts = 1, scriptArg = , timeout = 0
    [ debug] [vmbackup] Quiescing volumes: 6000c296-7562-12a2-a3a5-6547bbe78021
    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackup_SendEvent
    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackupStartScripts
    [ debug] [vmbackup] Trying to run scripts from /etc/vmware-tools/backupScripts.d
    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackupAsyncCallback
    [ debug] [vmbackup] VmBackupAsyncCallback: checking VmBackupOnFreeze
    [ debug] [vmbackup] Async request 'VmBackupOnFreeze' completed
    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackupEnableSync
    [ info] [guestinfo] Poll loop disabled.
    [ debug] [vmbackup] *** VmBackupSyncDriverStart
    [ debug] [vmsvc] SyncDriver: Freezing using Linux ioctls...
    [ debug] [vmsvc] SyncDriver: failed to open 'xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx': 2 (No such file or directory)
    [ warning] [vmbackup] Error freezing filesystems.


This issue occurs due to a problem with the FIFREEZE/FITHAW ioctl feature within the guest that is utilized to quiesce the Linux filesystem, affecting kernel 2.6.32-24 and lower.

Note: Red Hat has addressed this in bug 768304. You need a Red Hat customer login to view the bug details.


To resolve this issue, update the kernel of your Linux guest virtual machine to 2.6.35-22 or higher.

To work around this issue without updating the kernel:
  1. Open the tools.conf file, located in the /etc/vmware-tools directory, using a text editor.

    Note: If the tools.conf file does not exist, create a new empty file.

  2. Add these lines to the file:

    enableSyncDriver = false

    Note: This would only do a sync operation before snapshot, and would not FREEZE fs and not block latter write IOs until the snapshot is done.

Additional Information

To see the Linux kernel versions associated with each RedHat version, see the document Red Hat Enterprise Linux Release Dates.

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