You can do a lot of configuration of ESXi through the GUI, but one thing I’ve found that you cannot do is configure SNMP.

I can see in  the GUI that SNMP service is stopped, and that’s about it:

 

  • Even if you can manage to get the service started from the GUI, you’ll still have to set your community string somehow. I couldn’t exactly find a place to set that, so it’s off to the CLI we go.

So here’s how to enable SNMP and configure the community string/firewall on ESXi 6.0 or 6.5:

1. SSH to host

  • SSH should be enabled. If not, enable it.

 

2. Set SNMP community string

  • Enter the following command to set your string, replacing YOUR_COMM_STRING with your own.

 

3. Enable SNMP service

  • Enter the following command to enable the SNMP service

 

4. Adjust firewall

  • Chances are that your ESXi firewall is already allowing this traffic, but just in case, allow connections from anywhere.

  • This is very lenient but recommended for beginners or lab environments.

 

  • A more secure approach would be to restrict access to a range of IPs or a particular host. In this case, we are only allowing 192.168.0.0-192.168.0.254 to poll SNMP.

 

5. Restart SNMP service

It took a good 30-45 seconds for the service to restart on my host. Once this is done, you can confirm that the service is running via GUI:

 

That’s it!

  • Here’s a transcript of my shell session, for your reference:

 

Personally I am utilizing OpenNMS Horizon to graph the SNMP Interface Data for the VM Network. Another popular alternative that I have used is LibreNMS which is much better graphically in my opinion.

I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.


12 Comments

--wolfegang76 · February 7, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Do these custom firewall settings persist across reboots??? From what I’ve read, firewall changes do not persist unless you create a custom VIB and install it on the host…

Nikolay Nikolov · December 28, 2017 at 5:28 am

Thank you!! I’ve done this to my 4 esxi 6.5 hosts and all of them works fine!

Thank you again Tyler!

Michael MacFaden · October 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

BTW, To view the set of firewall rules:
esxcli network firewall ruleset rule list

Michael MacFaden · October 27, 2017 at 11:08 am

Now that its 2017, SNMPv3 has been a standard for 15 years .
Please consider using a SECURE protocol, for both ESXi and Virtual Center Server
configure your SNMP agents as follow:
http://blog.epijunkie.com/2015/03/enable-snmpv3-on-vmware-vcsa-6-0/

    Tyler Woods · October 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I appreciate your input, Michael!

    Thanks,
    Tyler Woods

perry · October 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for the guide Tyler. This worked perfectly on my host running ESXi 6.5.0 build-4564106. Your guide is infinitely easier to follow than the official guide from VMWare.

Cheers

    Tyler Woods · October 11, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Perry, I’m happy that this worked for you and that it is easier to understand than the VMware KB

    Thank you for your feedback!

ibmnew · October 10, 2017 at 11:11 am

The best and working guide I have seen on all my searches at VMWare. This site is so not user friendly. You nailed it, many thanx! Nice work.

    Tyler Woods · October 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for your kind words! I’m really glad this worked out for you.

turnpike420 · July 19, 2017 at 10:40 am

ESXi 6.0.0 build 4600944: when I follow the above and run “esxcli system snmp get” just before running the restart command it returns Enable: true; however after I run the restart command it returns Enable: false so I have to re-run “esxcli system snmp set –enable true”. Only then can I snmpwalk the ESXi system. Also, Enable: true is not persistent after an ESXi host reboot. The firewall and community name settings appear to remain persistent after reboot. I added the enable true line to /etc/rc.local.d/local.sh and that made it persistent after reboot.

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