by lunarg on April 29th 2015, at 13:18

There are two ways to enable the SSH server on a VMWare ESX host, through the vSphere client or through direct access through the console.

Through the console

Use this method if you have access to the host directly through console, or when you can use a remote management system such as HP's Integrated Lights-Out or Dell's iDRAC.

If you can't log on using the vSphere client, this is the only way to enable the SSH server.

  1. Log on to the console using the root account.
  2. In the menu, go to Troubleshooting, then enable the SSH server.

Through vSphere client

  1. Log on to the ESX host through the vSphere client. You can also log on your vCenter server to enable the service.
  2. Click on the host (in vCenter or when logged in directly on the ESX host), then click on the Configuration tab. To left, click on Security Profile (located under the Software section).
  3. With the Security Profile opened, click on the right-hand side of the window, at the Services level, on Properties. This opens a dialog.
  4. In the list, locate and select SSH, then click the Options button.
  5. To start the SSH service, click on the Start button. This will start the service until the next reboot of the host. If you want to permanently enable the SSH service, set the startup policy to Start and stop with host.

Disable SSH

You can disable the SSH service by performing the same actions as above.

To disable through the vSphere client, perform steps 1-4, then click the Stop button to immediately stop the SSH server. To make the change permanent (i.e. so the SSH service does not start after a reboot of the host), set the startup policy to Start and stop manually.

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