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Access the ESXi Service Console

Here is a brief write-up on how to access the Service Console of VMware ESXi. As a disclaimer, this should only be done under the direct supervision of a VMware Support Engineer.

  1. From the ESXi console summary screen hit ALT-F1.
  2. Enter the word “unsupported” (without quotes).
  3. Enter in the root password for your system.
  4. Be careful

Now edit the inetd.conf file to enable remote SSH into this console;

  1. Edit /etc/inetd.conf (vi /etc/inetd.conf).
  2. Remove the # sign in front of the SSH line.
  3. Kill and restart the inetd process.
    1.) ps -ef |grep inetd
    2.) kill -HUP <pid>
    # pid is the Process ID, the first number displayed from ps -ef
  4. SSH into the IP of your ESXi server, using your root login/password.