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Change ESXi host root password from OVC?

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Change ESXi host root password from OVC?


We recently deployed a 3-node Simplivity system using ESXi. However for now we cannot login to two hosts locally using root. Is there a possiblitiy during deployment the password could be changed? Though it seems not an issue now but I am afrid in the future would cause some problems. So is there a way I can reset root passowrd from OVC or somewhere else? 




Re: Change ESXi host root password from OVC?

Hi Chen,

Changing the ESXi password is not a function available from the OVC. This is a VMware feature not HPE Simplivity.

The Root password is set during initial deployment and can only be changed by a user.

VMware advise that if the Root password has been forgotten then there is no way other than a redeploy to recover.

Ultimately this will cause issues in the future as access to the ESXi will be required at some stage and root user is necessary for the OVC to function correctly. 

Has the Root user account just become locked?

To unlock the root account please follow the procedure below. 

 1. Access ESXi console with remote or direct KVM 

2. Login to ESXi console (F2) with root account (it won't be locked at this level)

3. Navigate to Troubleshooting Options

4. In first line you should see either Disable or Enable ESXi Shell. If its Enable, hit enter once. 

5. Then use combination Alt+F1 to switch to ESXi shell

6. Login with root account (it won't be locked at this level)

7. Run following command. This will show number of failed login attempts 

pam_tally2 --user root 

8. To reset the failures, run following command 

pam_tally2 --user root --reset 


Now you can access the ESXi with shell and Web UI (vSphere Client). 

Run 'pam_tally2 --user root' couple of times to check if there are new failed login attempts.


The process of changing the root password has to be undertaken from the ESXi console either by SSH or login in to the direct console, but requires the currently set root password to be known.

See the following VMware KB article for steps. https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1004659

Once the Root password has been changed the OVC identity store will require an update of the credentials to ensure connectivity can continue.

Dependant on the version of Simplivity software you are running this may require the assistance of the Support team.

  • Pre 3.7.3 - Open a support case to allow an engineer to assist.
  • Post 3.7.3 - DSV commands have been made available to end user.

Log in using an administrator account and run the following commands:

  • sudo su
  • source /var/tmp/build/bin/appsetup
  • dsv-identitystore-init <HMS User> <Host IP> <Host User>  Synopsis of the above command can be obtained using: dsv-identitystore-init --help
  • Enter passwords for HMS User (admin@vsphere) Host User (Root) at prompt.



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Re: Change ESXi host root password from OVC?

Thanks a lot! Finally I found out, according to the log, that our vender's monitoring system had a worng password and caused the root account locked. Now I reset the counter and everything is fine now. Thanks!