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Archive for September 28th, 2010

VMware ESXi 4.0 / ESXi 4.1: enable SSH login for non-root users (and only them)

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/09/28

VMware ESXi has SSH disabled by default.

In ESX / ESXi 3 and 3.5, it took a while for people to recognize the ‘unsupported’ trick and enable SSH.
In ESXi 4.0, /sbin/services.sh was fixed, so SSH was easier to enable (note: only delete the # in front of the first ssh).
Since ESXi version 4.1, SSH is called “Remote Tech Support (SSH)”, and it very easy to enable from the console.
Thomas Maurer described how easy it is to activate SSH in ESXi 4.1. He provides clear screen shots, whereas the VMware knowledge base article just lists the textual steps.

But contrary to ESX/ESXi 3.5 and lower, and *nix habits, enabling SSH on ESXi 4.x will enable this for the root user.
This has to do with the switch between ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4.0 from to the dropbear ssh daemon (in the /sbin/dropbearmulti binary).
Dropbear is a very lightweight implementation of the SSH 2 protocol; ideal for ESXi which – as a hypervisor – needs to have a really low footprint.

In addition to the dropbear change, SSH is disabled for non-root users (which has nothing to do with dropbear, see below).

This post is about how to fix not only the SSH (as above) but also how to allow specific users to use SSH. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in ESXi4, Keyboards and Keyboard Shortcuts, Power User, VMware | 9 Comments »

 
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