create kernel panic on ESXi

There are situations when you need to check cluster reactions after a ESX host crash. For example to see if HA will start VM on other hosts.

The easiest method is to pull a hosts powercord. But there ar more elegant ways to let a host crash.

Warning! Do not use on productive systems! This is for testing purposes under controlled conditions only. Use at your own risk.


You can trigger a Purple-Screen-of-Death (PSOD) by issuing a special command that causes a kernel panic.  Use the VMkernel Sys Info Shell (vsish).

First you need a SSH connection to your host. Change to vsish

set /reliability/crashMe/Panic

Alternatively you can issue the command together with parameters.

vsish -e set /reliability/crashMe/Panic 1

Your host will end up in a PSOD and can be restarted afterwards.


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