1. Access the ESX host console. Press Alt-F1 to jump into the cli.
2. Login with the root username and password.
3. Use the editor that you’re most comfortable with. In this case I’ll use vi. The file that we want to edit is located in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
4. The line we’re looking for is PermitRootLogin no. We simply need to change this to PermitRootLogin yes as you can see below. Once you’ve made the change save the file.
5. Once the file is saved we need to restart the sshd service. We can do this by simply typing service sshd restart. You will now be able to login as root using ssh.
6. Another way to enable SSH access is via vCenter. Please watch my video below explaining how to do so.
Disclaimer: All the tutorials included on this site are performed in a lab environment to simulate a real world production scenario. As everything is done to provide the most accurate steps to date, we take no responsibility if you implement any of these steps in a production environment.