I ran into this issue last week while upgrading several ESXi environments to 5.5. On these I needed to move the boot from SAN partition so I did fresh installs from the disks. Everything was great until I tried to login to the ESXi host with domain credentials. (By default ESXi looks for members of a AD group called ESX Admins) All AD authentication requests failed. At first I thought it was a issue with the HP version of ESXi from Sep. 2013:
Turns out it’s a issue with VMware’s base image. So every fresh install could have this issue. When you setup AD authentication a number of daemons are started:
netlogond, lwiod, and lsassd
First time they run they create a number of directories and create pid files in /var/lock/subsys. Unfortunately this is where the error lies. There is no /var/lock/subsys directory. It was missed. I confirmed the issue still exists on the latest patch set as well. So here is the work around:
Log in to ESXi via SSH or vMA as root (since you cannot login as you) mkdir /var/lock/subsys /etc/init.d/netlogond restart; /etc/init.d/lwiod restart; /etc/init.d/lsassd restart;
And test AD login… all should be good. VMware should post a KB article in the near future.
VMware has posted the KB : http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2075398
They state it’s not a issue beyond the display of the message and if you refresh the status everything is running. Personally my experience is you need the fix to make it work… but it’s just me.