VMware Server 2 for Linux: HOW-TO Disable VMware Virtual Infrastructure Web Access

Many people are not aware that VMware Server’s resource intensive Web Access/Web MUI is not required to administer VMware Server 2. As I detailed in a previous post, the same Windows-only thick client used to administer ESX Server, Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC) 2.5, can also be used for administration.

While the “webAccess” MUI can be disabled, disabling the rather lightweight HTTP/HTTPS services entirely is not recommended, as they are required for VIC to work. I still can’t believe how much RAM webAccess requires — more than quadruple that of the virtualization engine itself!

According to pmap, webAccess (which can be found at /usr/lib/vmware/webAccess/java/jre1.5.0_15/bin/webAccess) uses ~485MB of RAM while the virtualization engine, hostd uses just 120MB. So if you’d like to disable that monstrosity, you will have to modify one file. If you don’t want to do so without shutting down the virtualization engine itself, you will have to modify the same file twice. Here’s how to do it without shutting down the engine.

Modify /etc/init.d/vmware, comment out line 1202:


Next, shut down webAccess.

service vmware-mgmt stop

Then, open up /etc/init.d/vmware again and uncomment line 1202 then comment out line 1901.


hostd is already running so you don’t need to stop/restart anything at this point. Now you’re done — later hosebeast of a poorly designed MUI. :D Btw, If you want to turn off HTTP/HTTPS access completely (strangely, I didn’t see any reduction in memory usage when I did this), comment out the _entire_ <proxysvc> section in the file /etc/vmware/hostd/proxy.xml and restart hostd.

service vmware-mgmt stop && service vmware-mgmt start

Edit: Joe @ 4sysops.net points out a downside:

The only down side to doing that is if you use the VI Client you can only create and manage virtual machines at version 4, not version 7 like the web interface uses. So, if you create a VM in WI, you can’t manage it with VI Client. You would want to pick one or the other to use primarily. I prefer the web interface, unless I were to add a VMware Server 2.0 machine to Virtual Center. I am hoping they update virtual center at some point to support version 7 virtual machines.

So you may want to consider that before disabling webAccess. Ultimately, I ended up wiping VMWare Server 2 and using ESXi 3.5 instead.

Chrissy is a PowerShell MVP who has worked in IT for nearly 20 years, and currently serves as a Sr. Database Engineer in Belgium. Always an avid scripter, she attended the Monad session at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles back in 2005 and has worked and played with PowerShell ever since. Chrissy is currently pursuing an MS in Systems Engineering at Regis University and helps maintain RealCajunRecipes.com in her spare time. She holds a number of certifications, including those relating to SQL Server, SuSE Linux, SharePoint and network security. She recently became co-lead of the SQL PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter. You can follow her on Twitter at @cl.

Posted in VMware
3 comments on “VMware Server 2 for Linux: HOW-TO Disable VMware Virtual Infrastructure Web Access
  1. Nice post, really webAccess eat memory like Windows Vista.
    There're another way, just reduce total memory in webAccessOpts.
    You can find it in /etc/init.d/vmware (line 680)
    webAccessOpts="-client -Xmx34m…..
    I still search how to reduce the total number of instances, probably i'll find it in tomcat config.

    PS: Sorry my bad english.

  2. ivanmara says:

    I found the solution: http://communities.vmware.com/message/1159719#115

    Disable the web management console:

    Edit /etc/init.d/vmware
    Find the following lines at the end of the file:

    case $1 in
    service_vmware "$1"
    service_vmware_mgmt "$1"
    service_vmware_autostart "$1"

    Comment out the service_vmware_mgmt line, and add a line to start the

    remote management interface, as below:

    service_vmware "$1"
    #service_vmware_mgmt "$1"
    service_vmware_autostart "$1"

    To start WebAccess, use:
    service vmware-mgmt start

    and to stop it:
    service vmware-mgmt stop

  3. metafa says:

    Thank you for posting this!

    One correction (for VMware Server 2.0.2 at least):
    "vmware_start_webAccess" sits at line 1191

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