Enabling root SSH login on an ESX or vSphere host


After rebuilding a vSphere node I forgot that SSH is disabled by default for the root account.

As I hadn’t created a new user with root permissions which would have allowed me to login with SSH the actual sshd service does not allow root logins.

To enable root login for SSH and SCP:

· At the actual server login to the console as root

· Edit the configuration file for SSH with the following command:

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Locate the line that starts with PermitRootLogin (under the #Authentication heading) and change the no to yes.

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· Save the file by first pressing Ctrl-O and then Enter. Exit with Ctrl-X.

· Restart the sshd service with the command:

service sshd restart

Test by remotely connecting using a SHH client such as PuTTy

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