TSM and SSH on ESXi 4.1

I’ve installed the VMware ESXi 4.1 on my home lab for learning purpose.
Today I decided to enable SSH on ESXi 4.1 for further use and also check the TSM (Tech Support Mode) on ESXi 4.1 in order to checking the different area on the ESXi itself.
So as usual I pressed the ALT+F1 and …. there is new message from VMware on this page!?
Tech Support Mode has been disabled by administrator.

So I went back to the main page for checking any new changes in the “System Customization” page.

There is new item in menu as “Troubleshooting Options” which contain four useful option which I think would make the administrator work more easier and safer.
By entering in this menu administrators would be able to enable/disable TSM and SSH, Setting a customized time for disabling the TSM as well as restarting the management agents.

Enabling TSM

Disabling TSM

The result of enabling the TSM

Enabling SSH

Disabling SSH

Modifying Tech Support timeout
Configuring this option would let administrators to let the other technician or support group to gain access to this host for the specific period of time and prevent some mistake like forgetting to disable the TSM.


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  1. Here’s a silly question: I’m currently stuck on the original screen where it says “Tech support mode has been disabled by the administrator”. Aside from rebooting the server – which I can’t anytime soon because it’s live and in production, how do I get back to the main screen? I’ve tried escape, and all other kinds of key combinations and am having no luck.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi,
      Is it written in red “Tech Support Mode has been disabled by administrator.”?
      So You must have pressed “ALT+F1” to going to the “Tech Support Mode”, in order to going back to the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface or main screen) you should press ALT+F2.

  2. I had the exact same silly question. Thanks!!

  3. I had the same silly question, too. Thanks, as well.

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