You can activate or deactivate ESXi services from the vSphere Client.

An ESXi host includes several services that are running by default. If your company policy allows it, you can deactivate services from the security profile, or activate services.

Note: Activating services affects the security of your host. Do not activate a service unless strictly necessary.

After installation, certain services are running by default, while others are stopped. Sometimes, you must perform other steps before a service becomes available in the UI. For example, the NTP service is a way of getting accurate time information, but this service only works when required ports are opened in the firewall.

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 Client.

Table 1. ESXi Services in the Security Profile
Service Default Description
Direct Console UI Running 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 Stopped 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 activate access to the ESXi Shell from the direct console of each system. You can activate access to the local ESXi Shell or access to the ESXi Shell with SSH.
SSH Stopped The SSH client service on the host that allows remote connections through the Secure Shell.
attestd Stopped vSphere Trust Authority Attestation Service.
dpd Stopped Data Protection daemon.
Load-Based Teaming Daemon Running Load-Based Teaming.
kmxd Stopped vSphere Trust Authority Key Provider Service.
Active Directory Service Stopped When you configure ESXi for Active Directory, this service is started.
NTP Daemon Stopped Network Time Protocol daemon.
PC/SC Smart Card Daemon Stopped When you activate the host for smart card authentication, this service starts. See Configuring and Managing Smart Card Authentication for ESXi.
CIM Server Running Service that can be used by Common Information Model (CIM) applications.
slpd Stopped Service Location Protocol daemon.
SNMP Server Stopped SNMP daemon. See the vSphere Monitoring and Performance documentation for information on configuring SNMP v1, v2, and v3.
VTDC Service Running vSphere Distributed Tracing Collector service.
vltd Stopped VCDR LWD Transport daemon.
Syslog Server Stopped Syslog daemon. You can activate the syslog from the Advanced System Settings in the vSphere Client. See the vCenter Server Installation and Setup documentation.
VMware vCenter Agent Running 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 Stopped X.Org Server. This optional feature is used internally for 3D graphics for virtual machines.


Connect to vCenter Server with the vSphere Client.


  1. Browse to an ESXi host in the inventory.
  2. Click Configure, then click Services under System.
  3. Select the service you want to change.
    1. Select Restart, Start, or Stop for a one-time change to the host's status.
    2. To change the status of the host across reboots, click Edit Startup Policy and select a policy.
    • Start and stop with host: The service starts shortly after the host starts, and closes shortly before the host shuts down. Much like Start and stop with port usage, this option means that the service regularly attempts to complete its tasks, such as contacting the specified NTP server. If the port was closed but is later opened, the client begins completing its tasks shortly thereafter.
    • Start and stop manually: The host preserves the user-determined service settings, regardless of whether ports are open or not. When a user starts the NTP service, that service is kept running if the host is powered on. If the service is started and the host is powered off, the service is stopped as part of the shutdown process. When the host is powered on, the service is started again, preserving the user-determined state.
    • Start and stop with port usage: The default setting for these services. If any port is open, the client attempts to contact the network resources for the service. If some ports are open, but the port for a particular service is closed, the attempt fails. If and when the applicable outgoing port is opened, the service begins completing its startup.
    Note: These settings apply only to service settings that are configured through the UI or to applications that are created with the vSphere Web Services SDK. Configurations made through other means, such as from the ESXi Shell or with configuration files, are not affected by these settings.
  4. Click OK.