How to enable SSH on VMWare vCenter

Before you can open Putty or you favorite terminal emulator and access your vCenter you have to enable this access. In this tutorial I will show you how to get this done.

First we need to access the vCenter VM itself, either through a host or on the vCenter appliance itself. Once the vCenter is selected you need to use the “Launch Web Console”

Click into the console to activate the screen and press F2 to configure you vCenter appliance

I had to hit F2 twice to get in as the first time it activated the screen and the second time moved the screen forward.

Now we put in our root password. The interesting part here is that the password for root will work here, even if the root account password has expired!

Press the down arrow to select Troubleshooting Mode Options.

We now need to select both Enable BASH Shell and hit enter and then arrow down and do the same for Enable SSH. This will give us access to SSH into the vCenter and BASH shell will give us a command prompt or shell to enter commands, which is why we need SSH access.

Once you hit enter on each selected you will see on the right that the highlighted item is now Enabled.

Press Esc twice to exit. That’s it SSH and Bash are enabled you may now access the vCenter through your terminal emulator (such as Putty).

Good Luck!

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