I was recently troubleshooting another unrelated issue within our virtual infrastructure and needed to login to an ESX server via the Service Console. I use Putty as my SSH client. This was the first time that I had logged into the Service Console via SSH since the ESX 4.1 upgrade several months ago.
When attempting to login with the lower privileged account that I had been using since the day I installed ESX I received an Access Denied message from the console.
According to the vSphere Upgrade Guide on pg. 69, “After upgrading to ESX 4.1, only the Administrator user has access to the service console. To grant service console access to other users after the upgrade, consider granting the Administrator permissions to other users.”
In Simple Terms
Unfortunately, they don’t tell you exactly how to fix this. All you have to do is add that particular account to the local root group on the particular ESX server.
- Launch the vCenter Client software and login to the ESX host using the root credentials; not the vCenter Server.
- Select the ESX host and click on the Local Users & Groups tab.
- Right-click on the user and select Edit (or add the user if it doesn’t exist).
- Under Group Membership find the root group and click the Add button.
Now the user can login via SSH.