VMware – Enabling SSH Access To ESXi

VMware – Enabling SSH Access To ESXi

This article provides the steps to perform in order to enable SSH access to an ESXi server.  ESXi comes with the abiity to run SSH but is disabled as default.

To enable SSH access to a ESXi host perform the following steps :-

  • At the ESXi Console press ALT F1 to access the console window
  • In the console window type unsupported and the press Enter

N.B. You will not see anything appear on the screen as you type it

  • At the Tech Support Page type in the root user password when prompted
  • The prompt will then change to ~#
  • At the command prompt edit inetd.conf by executing the following command

vi /etc/inetd.conf

  • Locate the line starting with #ssh stream tcp
  • Remove the # (Hash) symbol from the start of the line to uncomment it
  • Save and Exit the file
  • Next identify the Process ID for the inetd service on the host by executing the following command

ps | grep inetd

  • The output from the command above should show a similar output to below

5048 5048 busybox  inetd

N.B. The Process ID for the inetd service in the above output is 5048 although yours will differ

  • Using the Process ID returned when the ps | grep  command was ran execute the following command

kill -HUP {Your Process ID}

SSH access is now enabled on the ESXi host machine and to test it connect to the host using a SSH client and when prompted logon using the rootaccount and password.