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Configuring SNMP Traps in ESXi/ESX (1008065)

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To generate virtual machine and environmental traps from ESXi/ESX 3.5, 4.x, and ESXi 5.x hosts, you must configure and enable the embedded SNMP agent. You cannot use the Net-SNMP-based agent to generate these traps, although it can receive GET transactions and generate other types of traps.

This represents a change in behavior from ESX 3.0.x, in which the configuration file for the Net-SNMP-based agent controlled the generation of virtual machine traps. For more information, see Configuring SNMP on an ESX 3.0.x host (1008186).

In ESXi 5.1, SNMP is configured using esxcli rather than vicfg-snmp. In addition, you have the option to configure SNMP v3 traps and informs as well as the SNMP v1 and v2c traps available with previous versions of ESXi.

For instructions on:


Run the command from the Remote CLI or vSphere CLI to enable the SNMP agent and configure trap destinations. Each time you specify a target with the command, the settings you specify overwrite all previously specified settings. To specify multiple targets, specify them in a single command, separated by commas.

To enable and configure SNMP traps:

  1. Navigate to the directory where is stored. By default, is located in:

    C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin

  2. Run this command: --server hostname --username username --password password --show

    Note: Run the --help command for a full list of options.

  3. Specify the communities and trap targets with this command: --server hostname --username username --password password -t hostname@port -c community

    Note: In ESX 3.5, you may need to use --server hostname --username username --password password -t hostname@port/community.

    Example: To send SNMP traps from the host to port 162 on, using the public community, use this command: --server --username root --password password -t -c public

    For ESXi 5.0: --server --username root --password password -t

    Note: To prevent clear text display of the user password, remove the --password password portion. You are then prompted to enter the password, and the entry is hidden.

  4. To enable the SNMP service, run this command: --server hostname --username username --password password --enable

    Note: To verify SNMP settings, run this command: --server hostname --username username --password password --show

  5. (Optional) To send a test trap to verify that the agent is configured correctly, run this command: --server hostname --username username --password password --test

    The test trap generated is a warmStart trap.
Note: Changes to the SNMP configuration are stored on the ESXi/ESX host in /etc/vmware/snmp.xml. The ESX/ESXi SNMP agent log messages are saved in /var/log/syslog.log.

For more information, see:

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:

Update History

11/26/2012 - Revised article to indicate that this procedure does not apply to ESXi 5.1, and added links to ESXi 5.1 documentation for this task. 10/20/2011 - Added under notes: For ESX 3.5, use the Remote CLI. For ESX 4.x and ESX 5.0 10/20/2011 - For ESX 5.0, snmp firewall port 161 is open by default, for more information see, vSphere 5 Documentation Center 10/20/2011 - Added note to run this procedure using vSphere CLI in ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.0 10/28/2011 - Added .pl to multiple entries 02/01/2012 - Added links to download vSphere CLI 04/16/2012 - Add full command to step 2. 09/20/2012 - Added string for ESXi 5.x in step 3. 09/10/2013 - Added log locations for SNMP configuration changes and agent logs.

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