An ESXi host includes several services that are running by default. You can disable services from the security profile, or enable services a if company policy allows it.

Use the vSphere Web Client to Enable Access to the ESXi Shell is an example of how to enable a service.


Enabling services affects the security of your host. Do not enable a service unless strictly necessary.

Available services depend on the VIBs that are installed on the ESXi host. You cannot add services without installing a VIB. Some VMware products, for example, vSphere HA, install VIBs on hosts and make services and the corresponding firewall ports available.

In a default installation, you can modify the status of the following services from the vSphere Web Client.

Table 1. ESXi Services in the Security Profile




Direct Console UI


The Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) service allows you to interact with an ESXi host from the local console host using text-based menus.

ESXi Shell


The ESXi Shell is available from the Direct Console User Interface and includes a set of fully supported commands and a set of commands for troubleshooting and remediation. You must enable access to theESXi Shell from the direct console of each system. You can enable access to the local ESXi Shell or access to the ESXi Shell with SSH.



The host's SSH client service that allows remote connections through Secure Shell.

Load-Based Teaming Daemon


Load-Based Teaming.

Active Directory Service


When you configure ESXi for Active Directory, this service is started.

NTP Daemon


Network Time Protocol daemon.

PC/SC Smart Card Daemon


When you enable the host for smart card authentication, this service starts. See Configuring Smart Card Authentication for ESXi.

CIM Server


Service that can be used by Common Information Model (CIM) applications.

SNMP Server


SNMP daemon. See vSphere Monitoring and Performance for information on configuring SNMP v1, v2, and v3.

Syslog Server


Syslog daemon. You can enable syslog from the Advanced System Settings in the vSphere Web Client. See vSphere Installation and Setup.

VMware vCenter Agent


vCenter Server agent. Allows a vCenter Server to connect to an ESXi host. Specifically, vpxa is the communication conduit to the host daemon, which in turn communicates with the ESXi kernel.

X.Org Server


X.Org Server. This optional feature is used internally for 3D graphics for virtual machines.