Recover VMWare ESX root password

Follow this tutorial in the case that you completely forgot the root password. You need physical access to the server. The main key is to boot the ESX into a single user mode mode, and execute the passwd command to change root password.

For version ESX 3.x and newer

  1. Reboot the ESX host.
  2. At the GRUB screen, press the arrow keys to select Troubleshooting ModeEnter ESX Troubleshooting Mode
  3. Press a key to modify the boot option (kernel arguments)
  4. Add a space with the word singleSingle-User-Mode ESX
  5. Press Enter. The server continues to boot into single-user mode.
  6. When presented with a bash prompt such as sh-3.2#, type the command passwd and press Enter.ESX Shell Mode
  7. Follow the prompts to set a new root user password.Reset ESX root password
  8. When the password is changed successfully, reboot the host using the command reboot, wait for the server to rebootReboot ESX Server after setting new password

To this step, you’re OK to login with the new root password.

For older ESX version (2.x), please follow my other post.

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

Leave a Reply