Failed to install the VirtualCenter Agent Service

A number of customers have been reporting the message: “Failed to install the VirtualCenter Agent Service“, when trying to connect an ESX host to virtual center, often after upgrading to ESX 3.0.2 and VC 2.0.2. In all the cases I have come across these reason seems to be that /tmp/vmware-root does not exist. This directory has to exist for the agent install process. To remedy this you can-

  1. Login to ESX Server via ssh client as root user
  2. cd /tmp
  3. mkdir vmware-root
  4. Try re-connecting the host to Virtual Center

Apparently there is a cron job that is removing this directory whenever it runs.Here is another method:

  1. Disable HA. Otherwise, the virtual machines might be forcibly powered down by step 2.
  2. At the service console, issue
    service mgmt-vmware restart
  3. At the service console, issue
    service vmware-vpxa restart
  4. Reconnect the virtual machines to VirtualCenter.
  5. Attempt to re-enable HA within VirtualCenter. If this doesn’t work, this means that vpxa did not install properly.
  6. At the service console, issue
    rpm -qa | grep vpxa
  7. At the service console, issue “rpm -e” on the rpm file that displayed in the previous command.
    rpm -e <rpm from step 6>
  8. Reconnect the virtual machines in the usual manner within VirtualCenter.
  9. Re-enable HA.

10 thoughts on “Failed to install the VirtualCenter Agent Service”

  1. Thanks so much! I upgraded my VI server from 2.5 to 4.0 and one of 2 servers did not connect, and this solved the problem.

  2. Yes – worked perfectly for me. Was able to rejoin my ESX v3.01 server to the Data Center. The other servers are all ESX v3.5 (which we thought was causing the issue)

    Thanks!!!

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