ESXi host Time & date actions menu not working in 7.0 host client – Workaround

This is something I noticed in the vSphere 7.0 host client. The actions button in the host client for the System > Time & date isn’t working. This means that we have to find an alternate method to enable NTP on the stand-alone host.

What we will need to do is the following:

  1. Configure NTP startup policy and NTP server(s)
  2. Enable the NTP port in the Firewall Rules
  3. Start the NTP service manually
  4. Verify NTP is working

1. Configure NTP startup policy and NTP server

To begin, select the correct NTP service startup policy and NTP server from the System > Time & date location. Save those settings.

2. Enable the NTP Port in the host’s firewall rules

To enable the firewall rule for NTP, I usually navigate to Host > Manage > Services view, and locate the NTP service from the list. In the end column, Firewall rules, the name of the NTP rule (ntpClient) is visible. Click on the ntpClient rule to go directly to that firewall rule.

When we get to the Firewall rules, only the NTP client is selected.

Click on the Actions button associated with the NTP Client firewall rule and select Enable.

After the firewall rule has been enabled, we can now enable the service. Let’s do that next.

3. Start the NTP Service

Return to the Services view. Now select the ntpd service, right click and select start.

And now the host will show the the NTP service status as running from the Time & date view.

4. Verify NTP status from the CLI

One final check can be done from the CLI of the ESXi host. You can do this with the ntpq command, as shown below:

[root@esxi-dell-l:~] ntpq -pn
     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
*     3 u   51   64  377  107.313   13.844   0.351

Now your NTP service is up and running. And yes, we are aware of this issue internally and will be looking to get it addressed asap.