Unable to kill DCUI – ESXi 5.1

One of our ESXi 5.1 hosts entered a disconnected state with reason unknown. When I logged into the console of the server and checked the network settings everything checked out. Then I went into the ESXi shell to see what the network interfaces looked like and here laid the problem… the management vmkernel interface was not enabled.

1 ESXi Shell - Interface List

If you need to see what IP address is assign to each vmk, run this command:

ESXi Shell - Get Interface

Okay, no big deal…. that is a easy fix! But when I tried to enable it I received a “Unable to kill DCUI” error.

2 ESXi Shell - Enabled Interface - failed

I could not find any information about this error anywhere. With this production ESXi host disconnected and roughly 40 virtual machines still running on this server I admitted defeat and opened a support case with VMware.

The VMware Support Engineer referenced internal KB article 2052878 with the fix below:

First we need to find the processor ID of the DCUI.

3 ESXi Shell - Find DCUI process ID

Note: The number to the right of the Unable to kill DCUI error is NOT the PID. Use the command above

Now kill that PID, it will not return anything if successful.

4 ESXi Shell - kill the dcui pid

This should now let you enable the vmk interface

5 ESXi Shell - Enable interface sucess

Perform a interface list and that disabled vmk should be enabled. Check to see if your host is pingable again.

6 ESXi Shell - Interface List with vmk0 enabled

If anyone else received this error, please comment with your scenario and results!

6 thoughts on “Unable to kill DCUI – ESXi 5.1”

  1. Does this kill the DCUI on the console though? Do you need to run “/etc/init.d/DCUI start” afterwards to ensure the console works? Just wondering.

  2. What would happen when you kill DCUI — I mean is there is something that you need to keep in mind. DCUI is something that we can check via ilo …. so when you kill it then the screen wont come up on ilo screen?

  3. Worked 100%. Thank you. Had this issue with ESXi 5.5 and iSCSI vmnik port binding/LUN mapping. Removed switches, etc., nothing until the DCUI PID was killed. Re-added switches for iSCSI and discovery is working. Thanks again!

  4. You saved my day (actually night) just had the same happening to my ESX host during an update. That worked like a charm. You are a hero for sharing this bit of information! S

  5. You saved my night too! Migrating vmnic and VMKs (Management and vMotion) from VDS to VSS. The migration failed and the Management VMK ended up disabled. Killed the DCUI and it came straight back.
    V much appreciated 🙂


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