VMWare ESX 3i. A handy back door

Today, moving a USB drive from a Mac into my VMWare ESX server, so I could use Freenas (which is highly recommended, BTW, especially if like me you have a wide range of hardware and need odd things like AppleTalk, NFS, SMB and FTP access to the same shares). Anywhoo.


I found that you cannot actually use 'ssh' to connect to the ESX 3i (The free one) anymore, as they removed the SSH daemon (for security reasons). And you cant use [ALT][F1] on the console anymore to get a login prompt. So how on earth to get access to the underlying redhat installation?


Hit [ALT][F1] which gives you access to the console, and type [ENTER] a few times, followed by 'unsupported' and [ENTER]. After a wee while you'll get a huge warning, and then be asked for the root password.