Essentially the same as in VMWare 3.5i, but thought i’d put it here anyway…
On the physical console of the ESX 4i hit ALT+F1 to view the console window, i.e you need your keyboard and monitor plugged into your ESX4i server to do this..
Type the word unsupported and hit ENTER.
It will come up with a load of red text, which should begin – You have activated Tech Support Mode.
It will then prompt you for the root password – enter that and you have activated SSH (until you reboot!)
Now to make it permanent.
at the prompt, type vi /etc/inetd.conf
This will edit the script that starts enabled services on bootup.
Using the arrow keys, go down until you find the line that begins with ssh. Note you should see 2 lines, the first begins with ssh, the 2nd begins with #ssh.
Make sure your cursor is right at the start of the line beginning with ssh.
Type i and then press the hash key to comment out the first line (Note you may find your keyboard is not english UK, so you might need to do shift 3 for your hash sign)
Now use the arrows to go down to the next line, the one that originally began #ssh.
Move the cursor so its under the first letter s and press backspace, which should remove the # sign.
Now type :wq and press enter, this will write out the changes you have just made.
Either reboot, or type /sbin/services.sh restart
Job should be done, and you should be able to ssh to your server. Bear in mind the shell you get is not a full linux install, its the vmware console which only has limited features, but very usefull for exploring the filesystem, and moving files around etc..