Enabling root SSH login on an ESX host

Starting with ESX 3.0, the ESX Server by default no longer allows root login over ssh. How to 'fix' this?

Warning: ssh root access isn't disabled (just :P ) to annoy to. It's to protect you. Before enabling ssh root access, make sure nobody you don't trust can connect to the ssh server.

  • Login on the console of the esx host
  • Press alt+f1 to get a login screen
  • Login as root
  • Type: sed -i "s/PermitRootLogin.*/PermitRootLogin yes/g" /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • Type: service sshd restart
  • Logout and get yourself a cup of coffee.
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