The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution

Bertrand Russell


On 12 Mar 2012


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Whilst not always recommended for production use, its certainly very common for admins to want to have SSH access enabled to all ESX’s all of the time. You don’t need it for day to day support tasks, but it can be very useful, especially when things start to go wrong.  And to my mind, the easier it is to start getting into the detail of an incident, all the better chances you have of resolving it quickly and correctly.

However, enabling SSH access causes a yellow warning on your ESX’s with is annoying, and risks clouding other more important errors you might want to take action on.

If you’re running ESX5 you may see…

  • ESXi Shell for the Host has been enabled
  • SSH for the host has been enabled

There are three ways that I’m aware of to remove the warning…

  1. Restart the ESX
    • Not always practical and likely to generate a plethora of alerts on your monitoring
    • Doesn’t survive a software upgrade
  2. Restart the hostd process
    • Again, likely to generate some unwarranted alerts on your monitoring
    • Doesn’t survive a software upgrade
  3. Disable the warning in Advanced Settings
    • Only available in ESXi 4.1 Update 2 and later

You can remove the message by rebooting the ESX or restarting the hostd service (/etc/init.d/hostd restart), but this isn’t always reliable, and doesn’t survive an ESX upgrade. The following disables the alert in through the ESX’s advanced config (applies to ESX 4.1 Remote Tech Support Mode and ESX 5 ESXi Shell/SSH).

  1. Go to the ESX’s Advanced Settings
    • In the VI Client, with an ESX selected in the left-hand pane
    • Go to the Configuration tab, then in the Software section, go to Advanced Settings
  2. Change UserVars.SuppressShellWarning to 1

You can also change this when connected to your ESX via SSH (ESX5 only)…

esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/SuppressShellWarning -i 1

Or use the PowerCLI…

Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -VMHost (Get-VMHost "ESXname") -Name "UserVars.SuppressShellWarning" -Value 1

The change takes effect following all the above methods of changing the Advanced Setting pretty much immediately (give it a minute or so), no restart etc required!


The above was pieced together from the following sources


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