Enabling ssh and ftp access to your ESXi host.

June 29th, 2009

This will be the first of  a series of posts regarding the backup of ESXi Virtual Machines from an ESXi host. This will probably take four or five seperate blogs to explain.

Stage 1 – Enabling ssh and ftp access on your ESXi host.

The default setting for any ESXi host is to have ssh and ftp access disabled, not great for administering the box.  To enable it:

Once the machine has booted, press ALT + F1

type: unsupported (this text will not be displayed, if you make a mistake CTRL + U clears the input)

now you will need to enter the root password.

  1. At the prompt type “vi /etc/inetd.conf”
  2. Look for the line that starts with “#ssh” and “#ftp” (you can search with pressing “/”)
  3. Remove the “#” in both places (press the “x” if the cursor is on the character)
  4. Save “/etc/inetd.conf” by typing “:wq!”
  5. Restart the management service “/sbin/services.sh restart”

The Management Service will now restart (takes a couple of mins)

Now you need to kill the inetd service;

  1. ps -a | grep inetd
  2. kill (# of inetd service)
  3. inetd

Press Alt+F2 to return the server to DCUI mode.

Voila! You can now use your favourite ssh client to access the ESXi host.