To increase the security of your ESXi hosts, you can put them in lockdown mode.

When you enable lockdown mode, no users other than vpxuser have authentication permissions, nor can they perform operations against the host directly. Lockdown mode forces all operations to be performed through vCenter Server.

When a host is in lockdown mode, you cannot run vSphere CLI commands from an administration server, from a script, or from vMA against the host. External software or management tools might not be able to retrieve or modify information from the ESXi host.

Note

Users with the DCUI Access privilege are authorized to log in to the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) when lockdown mode is enabled. When you disable lockdown mode using the DCUI, all users with the DCUI Access privilege are granted the Administrator role on the host. You grant the DCUI Access privilege in Advanced Settings.

Enabling or disabling lockdown mode affects which types of users are authorized to access host services, but it does not affect the availability of those services. In other words, if the ESXi Shell, SSH, or Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) services are enabled, they will continue to run whether or not the host is in lockdown mode.

You can enable lockdown mode using the Add Host wizard to add a host to vCenter Server, using the vSphere Web Client to manage a host, or using the direct console user interface.

Note

If you enable or disable lockdown mode using the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI), permissions for users and groups on the host are discarded. To preserve these permissions, you must enable and disable lockdown mode using the vSphere Web Client connected to vCenter Server.

Lockdown mode is available only on ESXi hosts that you add to vCenter Server.

See the vSphere Security documentation for more information about lockdown mode.

1

In the direct console, select Configure Lockdown Mode and press Enter.

2

Press the spacebar to select Enable Lockdown Mode and press Enter.

3

Press Enter.

The host is in lockdown mode.