Today I was playing around with building some virtual ESXi hosts and could not get one of them onto the network. I tried everything I could through the console UI, but knew I had to enable the ESXi shell command line to do some further digging. These are the steps that I carried out to do this:
- Connect to the ESXi host console
- Hit F2
- Enter the username and password
- Select Troubleshooting Options
- Select Enable ESXi Shell and hit return
- Press Escape to exit
- Hold Alt and press F1
- Login to the ESXi shell
- Once logged in you will see the command line
If you are unsure of the commands to use the document Command-Line Management in vSphere 5.0 for Service Console Users is a really good starting point.
Some VMware support guy has just had a heart attack reading this. Do VMware not say this should only be used by the VMware support desk? 😉
Or do they say thats cool as of 5.0?
Yes, this is now a fully supported feature since vSphere 4.1. It used to be unsupported pre 4.1 and only advisable if requested by VMware support, but this is no longer the case.