Change VMWare ESX, ESXi root password

This tutorial is to show you how to change root password for VMWare ESX and ESXi.

For ESX Servers

Login to ESX host using either SSH or direct physical console using root account.

Issue this command to change password

passwd root
Changing password for user root.
New UNIX password: <new password is not shown>
Retype new UNIX password: <new password is not shown>
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

Enter and retype the new password. It’s recommended to use a complex password (but not too common) that includes lower-case, UPPERCASE, numb3rs, and [email protected] [email protected]@cters.

Please note that you can only use this tutorial if you know the old root password, or have a logged in session with ESX host. If you forgot the old password and could not log in to the server, please read this post Recover VMWare ESX root password.

For ESXi Servers

VMWare ESXi server doesn’t have console terminal like a Linux host, then you could not type passwd command to change the root password.

  • Login to physical console of ESXi server
  • Press F2 to customize server configuration
  • Type in the current password for root, press ENTER
  • In the left menu, select Configure Password, and press ENTER
Configure ESXi root password
  • The Configure Password dialog appears, type in Old Password, and the New Password twice.
Change ESXi root password
  • Press ENTER
  • If your password is good, then you’re back to the menu screen.

About The Author

Hao Nguyen

Hao Nguyen

Hello! I'm Hao Nguyen and I'm currently working as a Network Engineer for a small firm in Houston. I enjoy writing technical documents and blog, such as

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