29. September 2021

VMware ALT+F1 no login prompt

By H. Cemre Günay

There are four options available in VMware ESXi Host to work with its interface:

Alt + F1 = To access the ESXi Shell or Console interface
Alt + F2 = To access the ESXi Direct Console User Interface (DCUI)
Alt + F11 = To switch to banner screen
Alt + F12 = To switch the VMkernel Log Console

In this article, we will discuss one issue respecting ESXi Shell or console interface. Using this interface we can execute the ESXi shell command.

After switching to the ESXi Shell or after pressing the Alt + F1 button, we can’t find any login screen. Just one blank window is appearing with ESXi version information.

If we switch to this console mode and we don’t enable the console shell service then no login prompt will have appeared. That’s why we have to enable the ESXi console shell service to work with this mode.

To enable this feature just login to your ESXi host web interface using its IP address. Then go to the “Action” tab and click on “Services”. Here we can find the option to enable this feature.

That’s it. Now we have the login prompt into our shell environment. Just like the following:

For vCenter Users:

Select the ESXi host in vCenter, then click Configure and Services. Here select ESXi Shell and click Start:

Now we have the login prompt into our shell environment again like in the picture above.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂