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Troubleshooting the vCenter Server Agent when it does not start (1006128)

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The vCenter Server Agent, also referred to as vpxa or the vmware-vpxa service, is what allows a vCenter Server to connect to a ESX host. Specifically, vpxa is the communication conduit to the hostd, which in turn communicates to the ESX kernel. This article provides troubleshooting steps for when the vpxa does not start.


Validate that each troubleshooting step below is true for your environment. Each step provides instructions or a link to a document, in order to eliminate possible causes and take corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and identify the proper resolution.

  1. Log in to the ESX host service console and acquire root privileges.
  2. Verify that the installation of the vCenter Server agent is not corrupted. From the command-line, run:

    rpm -V VMware-vpxa

    There is only output from the command if errors are found. For example:

    rpm -V VMware-vpxa
    S.5....T   /opt/vmware/vpxa/sbin/vpxa

    This indicates that the Size, MD5 checksum, and Timestamp for the file /opt/vmware/vpxa/sbin/vpxa are wrong, and therefore the installation of the VMware-vpxa package is corrupt. If you do have a corrupted installation, proceed to the next step to re-install the VirtualCenter agent.

    Note: The Red Hat Package Manager does not keep tabs on dynamic configuration files, so you cannot see errors about them.

  3. Verify that the vCenter Server agent is the correct version. For more information, see Verifying and reinstalling the correct version of VMware VirtualCenter Server agent (1003714).

  4. Verify that there is adequate disk space available on the ESX host service console. For more information, see Investigating disk space on an ESX/ESXi host (1003564).

  5. Verify that no processes are over utilizing the resources on the ESX host service console. For more information, see Checking for resource starvation of the ESX service console (1003496).

  6. Verify that the vpxa process is not exceeding allocated memory.

    Change to the the vpxa log directory, run:

    cd /var/log/vmware/vpxa

    View the vpxa log file, run:

    more vpxa.log

    Examine the log for errors. For example:

    [2007-07-28 17:57:25.416 'Memory checker' 5458864 error] Current value 143700 exceeds hard limit 128000. Shutting down process.
    [2007-07-28 17:57:25.420 'Memory checker' 3076453280 info] Resource checker stopped.

    These errors indicate there is not enough service console memory allocated for the vCenter Server agent. This may be due to one or more causes:


vpxa-agent  virtualcenter-agent-cannot-start fault/crash

See Also

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