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To Restore and Rebuild esx.conf

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esx.conf file contains and holds all the configuration data for ESX/ESXi host. Any corruption in this file will result in issues like:
  1. Unable to display information from vSphere client.
  2. There are chances of HA getting failed.
  3. User will get a blank output for commands executed in remote console.


To resolve this, user needs to rebuild or restore the esx.conf file. Please follow the below procedure:
  • Restoring the esx.conf file for 4.x:
    1. SSH or direct console into ESXI host.
    2. Rename the existing esx.conf file.
      # mv /etc/vmware/esx.conf /etc/vmware/esx.conf-backup  
    3. Run the below command to restore the configuration file from the location /var/log/oldconf :
       # cp /var/log/oldconf/esx.conf* /etc/vmware/esx.conf  
    4. Restart the management agents.
      # service mgmt-vmware restart   # Service vmware-vpxa restart  
      NOTE:If the backup file does not exist in /var/log/oldconf or if that file is also corrupted, user must rebuild it.
  • Rebuilding the esx.conf file on ESX 4.x:
    1. SSH or direct console into ESXI host.
    2. Copy the boot image from the /boot folder to the /tmp folder.
      # cp /boot/initrd-x.x.xx-xxxxx.img /tmp  
    3. Create a initrd folder under /tmp directory.
      # cd /tmp  # mkdir initrd  
    4. Decompress the .img file and output the file to /tmp/initrd .
      # cd initrd/  # gunzip -c ../initrd-x.x.xx-xxxxx.img | cpio -id    
    5. Rename the existing esx.conf file.
      # mv /etc/vmware/esx.conf /etc/vmware/esx.conf-backup  
    6. Copy esx.conf to /etc/vmware with the command:
      # cd /tmp/initrd/etc/vmware  # cp esx.conf /etc/vmware     
    7. Update the boot configuration with the command:
       # esxcfg-boot -b 
    8. Reboot the host for changes to take effect.
      NOTE:Network settings may appear before rebooting, VMware recommends rebooting at the earliest convenience.