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)


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