Access to ESXCLI and ESXi Shell


VMware provides a powerful and comfortable graphical interface for managing ESXi servers through the VMware vSphere Web / HTML5 Client through which most tasks can be performed, although sometimes you may need to obtain some information or change the configuration that is not displayed in the user interface Graphical Or in some cases it is difficult to access the web client,

In this case, you can use the command line interface, which is the console, or use ESXCLI, which is the same as Linux commands.

How to Enable the Access to CLI in ESXi?

For Security reason Vmware has disabled by default CLI, and you can enable it either from the ESXI interface or by from the web client interface

Enable CLI Using the ESXi interface

  • In the ESXi Direct Console User Interface (DCUI), select F2  then enter your credential
  • go to Troubleshooting Options
  • navigate to Enable ESXi Shell and Enable SSH strings and press Enter to enable each option
  • Select ESC to return to the main screen

Enable CLI Using the ESXi Web Client

Open VMware HTML5 vSphere Client, go to Host à Manageà Services

Navigate to SSH and  ESXI Shell and select start on each service  

How to open console from the DCUI

 press Alt+F1 to open the console on the machine running ESXi. You should enter your login and password after that (credentials of the root user can be used). If you need to go back to the ESXi DCUI, press Alt+F2

How to open console from the Remotely

In Windows, you can use PuTTY as an SSH client for running ESXI shell commands remotely.

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