Did you know you can get to the ESXi local console UI from an SSH session?

Posted by Paul Braren on Nov 5 2014 (updated on Apr 17 2020) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • ESXi-5.5-PuTTY-session-showing-dcui
    ESXi 5.5 PuTTY session showing dcui

    I didn't either. It's kind of awesome, and very handy, since you're already quite used to using the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) from when you first installed then configured your ESXi hypervisor. Way to go, Jeramiah Dooley @jdooley_clt (great meme, which I've borrowed for my picture above), and Chris Wahl @ChrisWahl, for his detailed article!

    It's ridiculously easy to do, just type:
    in your PuTTY (or similar) SSH session. When done doing your DCUI stuff:
    [Press Ctrl+C]
    and you'll have your blinking cursor back.

    If you don't have SSH set to autostart on your home lab's hypervisors, turning it back on is also detailed in Chris Wahl's excellent article:

    Accessing the ESXi Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) via SSH

    by Chris Wahl on Nov 03 2014

    The below animated 982KB GIF loops just 3 times, use browser's Forced Network Refresh (Ctrl+F5) to view it again:


    Nov 05 2014 Update

    Want that yellow you're used to? Here's how:

    Apr 17 2020 Update

    This still works with ESXi 7.0! (pictured above)! See also related tweet: