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"An error occurred while invoking external command: '%(0)s'" when deploying vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (2147908)

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  • Stage 2 deployment of a 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance fails at 5% when attempting to start the vmware-stsd service.

  • No FQDN was supplied during Stage 1 of the install, resulting in a hostname of localhost.localdom.

    Stderr = Job for vmware-stsd.service failed because a timeout was exceeded. See "systemctl status vmware-stsd.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

  • Running the commands systemctl status vmware-stsd.service and journalctl -xe on the vCenter Server Appliance report this error:

    Nov 17 21:12:13 localhost.localdom systemd[1]: vmware-stsd.service: Failed with result 'timeout'

  • The following error is displayed in the GUI of the installer:


This issue occurs due to a failure when attempting to resolve the hostname through IPv6 with no FQDN entered. When this step fails the installer fails attempting to fall back to IPv4 due to a timeout for the completion of the step.


This issue is resolved in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 b, available at VMware Downloads.
To workaround this issue if you do not want to upgrade, use one of these options:
  • Install with an FQDN which is resolvable through DNS.
  • Manually add localhost.localdom localhost to the /etc/hosts file on the Source vCenter Server Appliance. After deploying (Stage 1) the vCenter Server Appliance, open a console to the Appliance virtual machine.

    1. Press Alt+F1 and log in with root credentials.
    2. Run this command to enable SSH:

      ssh.set --enabled true

    3. Run this command to verify SSH is enabled:


      For example:


      Enabled: True

    4. Connect to the vCenter Server Appliance with an SSH session and root credentials.
    5. In the etc/hosts file, add ::1 localhost.localdom localhost above #VAMI_EDIT_END.
    6. Continue with Stage 2 of the deployment.

Update History

03/17/2016 - Added 6.5 b fix in resolution.

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