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LLE10159 : Howto access the (hidden) console in VMware ESXi server

Symptom:

On the free VMware ESXi server there is no commandline interface as in the full version ESX server

Cause:

by design

Solution:

Before trying this, consider the following:

ESXi server is not only free, it´s easy to use and pretty secure too. Usually every administrative task can be done with the Infrastructure client (VI client) or the remote command line interface (RCLI).

Except: editing files like your hosts-file or the inetd.conf for enabling ftp or ssh.

How to get to the console? It can only be done at the server console; first you see the configuration menu, press <ALT> <F1> to get to a kind of logging console. Pressing any keys will result in nothing. Now enter <unsupported> and <enter> (you might need to use the "real" enter key beside the numpad). 

A red warning appears about every of the following will not be supported from vmware in any case... - and a password prompt.

Here enter your root - password and you receive a fine linux prompt.

The ESXi server is a light linux system, so don´t expect neat tools like "man", "nano" or "more", but you´ll find the basic linux commands as ls, cp, cd, vi.


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