The ESXi Shell (formerly Tech Support Mode or TSM) is disabled by default on ESXi. You can enable local and remote access to the shell if necessary.

Enable the ESXi Shell for troubleshooting only. The ESXi Shell can be enabled and disabled whether or not the host is running in lockdown mode.

ESXi Shell

Enable this service to access the ESXi Shell locally.

SSH

Enable this service to access the ESXi Shell remotely using SSH.

Direct Console UI (DCUI)

When you enable this service while running in lockdown mode, you can log in locally to the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) as a user with the DCUI Access privilege and disable lockdown mode. You can then access the host by enabling the ESXi Shell.

Only users with the Administrator role can access the ESXi Shell. Users who are in the Active Directory group ESX Admins are automatically assigned the Administrator role. Any user with the Administrator role can execute system commands (such as vmware -v) using the ESXi Shell.

Note

Do not enable the ESXi Shell until it is required.