ESXi mgmt network lost when adding ESXi to VDS

So the other day a had a very unpleasant experience when adding a few new ESXi hosts, version 5.5 U2 including the latest patch, to an existing vCenter Server (5.5 U2e) vNetwork Distributed switch (VDS). I used the wizard in the vSphere web client and followed the recommendation but i guess i could have made the change for just one ESXi host at the time and not all four at the same time.

However, when the task was completed i ended up with three new ESXi hosts attached to the VDS but one new ESXi host disconnected from vCenter Server:


So i connected to the Direct User Console Interface (DCUI) and enabled ESXi shell via troubleshooting options. I started by verifying the available network IPV4 interfaces via the command “esxcli network ip interface ipv4 get” and it all looked ok.


Next i checked the routing table using the command “esxcli network ip route ipv4 list” and it didn’t look that good since no default GW was configured.


So this means i had a vmk0 interface but the default GW specified via the interface was not enabled. Just to verify i ran the command “esxcli network ip interface list” and the output showed me what i was suspecting:

  • Enabled: false


   To enable a vmk interface you can simply run the command “esxcli network ip interface set -i vmk0 -e true” but in this case i received the following error:

  • Unable to kill DCUI (12096732)

One thing to understand is that the numbers next to DCUI, in my case 12096732, is not the DCUI pid. To find the pid you can run the following command “ps -j |grep -i dcui” and i my case it showed:

  • 441159 441159 dcui                 441159 /bin/dcuidcui06

So PID 441159 is the one you need to kill using the command “kill -9 441159” and when completed i could successfully enable the vmk0 interface by running the “esxcli network ip interface set -i vmk0 -e true” command once again.


The default GW was now listed via the “esxcli network ip route ipv4 list” command and the vmk0 interface had status “Enable: true”.
The ESXi host connected automatically to the vCenter Server and we were ready to continue with some more important stuff:)

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