ESXi root password reset in Nutanix

I was recently working on a remote install of two different Nutanix bricks. One of the first steps after cluster initialization is to change all of the default passwords. Simple enough right? Sure unless somehow you manage to fat finger the root ESXi password twice on one of the three hosts. Once I realized my mistake I tried in vain for an hour or so to determine what I had set the root password to, knowing that except for a very few scenarios the only way to recover a ‘lost’ root password  for ESXi 3.5  & above is to reinstall the host OS, as stated by this VMW-KB-article  My good buddy and  David Ball also pointed me to THIS article by Vladan SEGET which states that if you have Enterprise Plus licensing and the host is visible in vCenter a Host profile can be used to reset the root password. In my case, I had not added the hosts to vCenter yet so, no bueno. After trying to guess the mistyped password for the better part of an hour I caved & opened up a ticket with Nutanix support, thinking that I was going to spend the rest of my evening on the phone reloading ESXi, redeploying the CVM and performing any other required task  to get this node back in the cluster and operational again. I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to get an email from the support engineer 30 minutes after opening the case with the most simple solution:


  • Login to CVM on as nutanix, from there, ssh root@
  • If login is successful without a password, then change the password with command passwd


Wait? Could it really be that simple, had I got myself worked up for nothing? Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause. That’s just one more reason I love Nutanix!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *