Friday, August 7, 2015

VMware Tools does not start after updating the kernel in RHEL 6

VMware Tools does not start after updating the kernel in RHEL 6


VMware Tools does not start after updating the kernel with boot log messages:

Checking acpi hot plug                                     [  OK  ]
Starting VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
Switching to guest configuration:                       [  OK  ]
VM communication interface:                             [FAILED]
VM communication interface socket family:          [FAILED]
Guest operating system daemon:                         [  OK  ]


·         Vmware tools not running after kernel patches are installed

·         VMTool not working

·         After latest OS patch set installed VM coming up without NIC interfaces

·         After upgrading the kernel some of my devices no longer work



  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Virtual Machine
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 Virtual Machine
  • VMware ESX Hypervisor



  • After updating the kernel, VMware tools just needs to be reconfigured -- not reinstalled
    Run the script (from inside the RHEL guest) to update the initramfs/initrd


NOTE: There is a high possibility that running this script will interupt network services on the server; run it from the console during regularly-scheduled downtime to prevent problems with applications and users

Root Cause

  • In order for VMware-specific virtual hardware (e.g.: VMXNET3 ethernet controller) to work with a new kernel, initial ramdisk (initramfs in RHEL 6 and initrd in RHEL 5 & earlier) needs to be rebuilt to include the appropriate VMware-specific kernel modules (drivers)

Diagnostic Steps

  • Check for VMware specific hardware in the output of an lspci command


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