This article provides guidance on the recommended use of ESXi Shell for VMware ESXi 5.x.
The ESXi Shell (formerly known as Tech Support Mode) provides essential maintenance commands. It can be used in exceptional cases that cannot be handled through standard remote management or CLI tools. The ESXi Shell is primarily intended for use in break-fix scenarios.
Use the vSphere Client to enable local and remote access to the ESXi Shell:
Direct Console UI
Use the direct console user interface to enable the ESXi Shell:
F2to access the System Customization menu.
Enable ESXi Shell
By default, the timeout setting for the ESXi Shell is 0 (disabled). The timeout setting is the number of minutes that can elapse before you must log in after the ESXi Shell is enabled. After the timeout period, if you have not logged in, the shell is disabled.
Note: If you are logged in when the timeout period elapses, your session persists. However, the ESXi Shell is disabled and it prevents other users from logging in.
Note: If ESXi Shell and SSH are enabled, the option to modify the timeout value is grayed out. To change the timeout value, ensure both ESXi Shell and SSH are disabled. This is by design and is intended to indicate when the timeout values would take effect.