Enabling SSH on ESXi Hosts

Product version: 9.3

Last modified: 19 May 2020


I cannot back up a VM from a Free ESXi host with SSH access disabled. How can I enable SSH?


NAKIVO Backup & Replication requires SSH access enabled on Free ESXi hosts. To enable SSH in ESXi host with the vSphere Client, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the host and click the Configuration tab.

  2. Click Security Profile > Properties.

    • In ESXi 5.x, select TSM-SSHSSH or ESXiShell and click Options.

    • In ESXi 4.1, select Local Tech Support or Remote Tech Support (SSH) and click Options.

  3. Choose the desired startup policy, click Start, and then click OK. We recommend choosing Start and stop with host as a startup policy.

  4. Verify that the daemon selected on Step 3 is running in the Services Properties window.

 More information on enabling SSH on an ESXi host can be found in VMware KB 2004746.