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Forcibly shutting down an ESX host remotely (2001123)

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Purpose

This article provides steps to reboot a partially non-responsive ESX host remotely using "Magic SysRq" commands.

Resolution

Even if an ESX host can be connected to using SSH, it can get into a state where the the management agents on the host are not responsive and the host does not respond to a reboot or shutdown command.

If the host is not equipped with an IP KVM such as DRAC or iLO, you can reboot the host remotely by running this command at the SSH command line of the host:
 
echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
echo u > /proc/sysrq-trigger
echo s > /proc/sysrq-trigger
echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger
 
Note: This process works in all cases where the service console kernel is still responding.

Additional Information

This table explains the commands:
 
Command Explanation
echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq Enables the use of the commands
echo u > /proc/sysrq-trigger Forces all disks to remount read only
echo s > /proc/sysrq-trigger Syncs all unwritten disk activity to disk
echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger
Reboots the server

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