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Using VMware virtualization products (and not only vSphere, but also Workstation and Fusion) on recent Linux CentOS (or RedHat) VM you may found an annoying issue during VM power-off procedure.

The Linux kernel will initiate the halting phase, but the VM may remain powered-on with this message in the console:

This issue happens with CentOS (or RedHat) 7 and 8 released and not (at least for me) with previous version.

Also if you are using the proper VMware Tools this problem remain if you are using the halt command within the VM guest OS.

Note that for CentOS 7 and later version the open-vm-tools package is recommended, but VMware Tools (embedded or downloadable) are also supported. For more information see this page.

VMware Tools
open-vm-tools:Supported (Recommended)Operating System provides open-vm-tools
OSP Format Tools:Not SupportedOperating System Specific Packages
Tools available for download:SupportedThe VMware Tools ISO is available for download from
Tools bundled with host:SupportedThe VMware Tools ISO is bundled with host product

Usually if you are using the vSphere Client (or Workstation/Fusion) and start the guest shutdown procedure it will work correctly.

If not you can remove the kexec-tools package:

rpm -e kexec-tools

But this will just fix the guest shutdown procedure initiated by the VMware side.

If you are using the halt command the VM remain hanged and powered-on.

There are several tips to try to fix this issue, like install and enable the acpid service, but none of them are working for me.

The real problem is on the difference between halt and shutdown commands… The second works correctly, the first one does not power-off the VM.

The only way is use shutdown or use the -p parameter with halt

halt -p

In this way halt works in the proper way.