This is a cool thing I’ve found out: You can see the ESXi Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) via SSH! Normally you can see this yellow/gray console via monitor into your physical ESXi host, connect via IPMI/iDRAC/iLO, or via console when running a nested ESXi VM. There is not much real practical use out of this if you are running this in a production environment since you should have some sort of remote management. Maybe if you are in too much of a rush to configure DNS via esxcli, open vSphere (C# client or web client), or for training purposes.
Here is how to do it:
1. Enable SSH and ESXi Shell
You can do this two ways: physically or via vSphere client.
- Connect your monitor and keyboard
- Go to Troubleshooting Options>Enable SSH
vSphere client (Windows C#):
- Connect to your ESXi host and navigate over to: Configuration>Software>Security Profile>Services>Profiles
- Select SSH and click “Options”
- Select “Start and stop with host” under Startup Policy and Start.
- Same steps for ESXi Shell
2. Connect to your ESXi host via SSH.
Open a terminal (or putty for you Windows users) and SSH to your host.
One you are logged in, run “dcui”
And there you have it: That familiar ESXi console screen! Have fun and impress your coworkers. To get out of dcui, just do a ctrl+c and that should drop you back to the esxcli.