The firewall built into ESX server uses iptables, the very commonly used Linux firewall. However to create the rules another esxcfg tool is used, which is esxcfg-firewall.

To list the services currently controlled by the firewall:
esxcfg-firewall -s

To list the firewall rules:
esxcfg-firewall -q [servicename]
esxcfg-firewall -q

Enable a service:
esxcfg-firewall -e [servicename]
esxcfg-firewall -e sshClient

Disable a service:
esxcfg-firewall -d [servicename]
esxcfg-firewall -d sshClient

Open a port:
esxcfg-firewall -o 465,tcp,out,out-smtps

Close a port:
esxcfg-firewall -c 465,tcp,out

Command Options:
-q|--query                                      Lists current settings.
-q|--query Lists setting for the
specified service.
-q|--query incoming|outgoing                    Lists setting for non-required
incoming/outgoing ports.
-s|--services                                   Lists known services.
-l|--load                                       Loads current settings.
-r|--resetDefaults                              Resets all options to defaults
-e|--enableService Allows specified service
through the firewall.
-d|--disableService Blocks specified service
-o|--openPort         Opens a port.
-c|--closePort             Closes a port previously opened
via --openPort.
--blockIncoming                              Block all non-required incoming
ports  (default value).
--blockOutgoing                              Block all non-required outgoing
ports (default value).
--allowIncoming                              Allow all incoming ports.
--allowOutgoing                              Allow all outgoing ports.
-h|--help                                       Show this message.

NOTE: For changes to show in VC/VI client restart mgmt-vmware.
/etc/init.d/mgmt-vmware restart

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All advice, installation/configuration how to guides, troubleshooting and other information on this website are provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee. Whilst the information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge, I am not reponsible for any issues that may arise using this information, and you do so at your own risk. As always before performing anything; check, double check, test and always ensure you have a backup.

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