A very useful benefit of iDRAC Console is that it allows you access to ESXi DCUI thus providing access to the ESXi Shell. The following steps provide detail on how to gain such access to the ESXi Shell which is disabled by default. Of course there are other methods of accessing shell, but it maybe beneficial for example when all your lab VM’s are running behind a firewall and when those VM’s are down the only direct access to the host(s) is via iDRAC … from where you can manage VM’s via the ESXi Shell!

Begin by browsing to the iDRAC Console:


Enter the iDRAC creds:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI1

Enable the ESXi Shell in DCUI. Press F2 and provide credentials when prompted:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI2

Enter Troubleshooting Options

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI3

Choose Enable ESXi Shell and press Enter:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI4

Press Esc until you return to the main DCUI screen.

Press Alt-F1 to open the ESXi host console window. Provide root credentials:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI5

At this point you may enter shell commands to perform VM related management tasks, example posts:

Managing VMs via the ESXi command line

vSphere – Migrating A VM To A New VMFS Datastore (CLI: VMKFSTOOLS)

To return to the main DCUI screen, type Alt-F2.

Note: in this example a VxRail host iDRAC configuration is displayed but same applies for iDRAC on non VxRail DELL Poweredge servers.

Hope that was of some help!



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