Enabling a Secure Shell on VMWare ESXi 3.5 or ESXi 4.0

Posted On: 9/23/2009 7:15:09 PM by jstarr

This is a bit more of a technical posting for those of you out there that have harnessed the power of VMWare and want to get more out of their latest ESXi 3.5 server. 

ESXi server is a baremetal hypervisor used for running virtualized instances of physical machines.  In short, it's a virtual machine server.  It's also free to use, since it strips out some of the pay features you'd find in VMWare Infrastructure's full blown ESX/vSphere offerings.

By default, ESXi doesn't allow SSH (Secure Shell) connections. This is a problem for those that want to manage the host from the command line, or utilize SCP to transfer data through an encrypted tunnel.

No worries, there's a way to enable SSH so that you can further leverage VMWare's free server solution!

Follow these steps, and you'll have a secure shell available.

1. Go to the ESXi console and press alt+F1
2. Type: unsupported
3. Enter the root password(No prompt, typing this blindly)
4. At the prompt type “vi /etc/inetd.conf”
5. Look for the line that starts with “#ssh” (you can search with pressing “/”)
6. Remove the “#” (press the “x” if the cursor is on the character)
7. Save “/etc/inetd.conf” by typing “:wq!”
8. Restart the management service “/sbin/services.sh restart”
9. Kill inetd by typing: kill `ps | grep inetd | cut -f2 -d” “‘
10. Start the inetd service by typing in: inetd

Permanent Link: http://www.infinistorm.com/blog/enabling-a-secure-shell-on-vmware-esxi-35-or-esxi-40

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About this blog.

Hi!  My name is Joshua Starr.  I'm the CTO and co-founder of Infinistorm and responsible for all networking, virtualization, and security related aspects of Infinistorm.  I am also an avid programmer that enjoys spending time figuring out new and interesting problems.  My expert knowledge in a variety of tech related topics should hopefully benefit most of you.

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