HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2016-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2016,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2016-2011 27 years of experience.
In this step by step tutorial with screenshots, we will show you HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5). This is important if you need to enable SSH remote access for additional troubleshooting of the ESXi host.
In my previous Experts Exchange Articles, most have featured Basic and Intermediate VMware and Virtualisation Topics. 

If you would like to read my Basic VMware articles, they are listed at the end of this article for your convenience.

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I'll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware's FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

In this article we will show you HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the VMware Host Client so you can remotely connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) server remotely via SSH (PuTTY). SSH Remote Access can still be enabled using the legacy deprecated vSphere Client but is unsupported.

If you want to use the vSphere Client to enabled SSH Remote Access to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5), please follow the steps in this article which are still valid for 6.5. Just remember it's not supported.

HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) or vSphere vCenter Server using the vSphere Host Client (ESXi), or Web Client (vCenter Server)

Please refer to my EE article here HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere (HTML5 Web) Host Client 6.5
https___esx001.cyrus-consultants.co..jpgOnce connected to the "default hypervisor home page", click the Host icon, and select Actions.
Edit-Article-000342.jpgClick the Actions gear icon.
https___esx001.cyrus-consultants.co..jpgClick the Services icon, and select Enable Secure Shell (SSH) and Enable console shell
Confirm using PuTTY, you can connect to the server successfully.

In vSphere 6.5, when you have enabled Secure Shell (SSH) and console shell on a host from the VMware Host Client, you may notice that that a Configuration Issues warning yellow box appears on the Summary page of the host ESXi server.
https___esx001.cyrus-consultants.co..jpgThis Configuration Issues warning yellow box only appears when Secure Shell (SSH) and console shell has been enabled.

Please refer to my EE Article on HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 6.5 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell

Congratulations, you have successfully Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5).

Basic VMware Articles Series: 

These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0.

Expert Comment

by:John Miles
Your articles are a great read, ESXi and VSphere hypervisor seems easy enough, until you have to get down and dirty. Thank you for your articles. @andrewhancock
LVL 119

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Thank you for your comments.

Expert Comment

by:Michael Vincent
Is there a way to enable this perenently of ESXi 6.5?  Jay
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
Mine just closes the shell window post enter username, and there appears to be no button in 6.5 to grant shell access?

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