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ESX host

Posted on 2013-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-05-15
Hi,

I am trying to reset the root password on an ESX host as it has been lost.  Does anyone know the best way to do this?

Thanks
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Question by:Jack_son_
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
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ID: 39169165
If this is ESX (not ESXi), as follows:-

To change the password for the root user on an ESX 3.x or ESX 4.x host, you must reboot into single-user mode. To do this, follow these steps:

1.Reboot the ESX host.
2.When the GRUB screen appears, press the space bar to stop the server from automatically booting into VMware ESX.
3.Use the arrow keys to select Service Console only (troubleshooting mode).
4.   Press the a key to modify the kernel arguments (boot options).
5.  On the line presented, type a space followed by the word single. Press Enter. The server continues to boot into single-user mode.
6. When presented with a bash prompt such as sh-2.05b#, type the command passwd and press Enter.
7. Follow the prompts to set a new root user password. For more information, see Changing an ESX host root password (1004659).
 8. When the password is changed successfully, reboot the host using the command reboot and allow VMware ESX to boot normally.

Source
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1317898
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bluedan earned 200 total points
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@bluedan already posted that!
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Author Comment

by:Jack_son_
ID: 39169194
Okay, thanks.  Also, I currently have no login to the host, is there a default user I can use?
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by:bluedan
ID: 39169198
@Hanccocka - We're posting at the same time when question shows 0 comment. You beat me by 39 seconds =).
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by:bluedan
ID: 39169205
Default username is root.
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by:Jack_son_
ID: 39169221
okay, so I can reset the password just by using the user id?  I think that is where I was not sure.
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by:bluedan
bluedan earned 200 total points
ID: 39169245
Once you log on to single, you should see something like

sh-2.05b#

then do

1) sh-2.05b# passwd
2) enter new password for root
3) sh-2.05b# reboot
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by:Jack_son_
ID: 39169256
thanks, will this work for version 5.x?
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by:bluedan
ID: 39169265
As stated by Hanccocka and the KB, this will work for ESX 3.x and 4.x.

For ESXi 5.x - Reinstalling the ESXi host is the only supported way to reset a password on ESXi.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
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ID: 39169266
NO NO NO!

5.0 is ESXi! NOT ESX!
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 39169270
follow this

http://vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Reset_root_password.php

BUT, it's easier and quicker to re-install ESXi 5.0, and installer will not overwrite the VMs of VMFS.
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