Esxi 6 - resetting root password

The only recommended by Vmware method is reinstallation of the Hypervisor. Based on the fact that Vmware is Linux based there is a way of doing it differently - by editing shadow file. Boot from some live cd or usb, eg. GParted Live.

Find first 2 partitions approximately 250 MB in size, note the first one eg. sda5 and then:

sudo su
mkdir /boot /temp
mount /dev/sda5 /boot
cd /boot
cp state.tgz /temp
cd /temp
tar -xf state.tgz
tar -xf local.tgz
rm *.tgz
cd etc

  • nano shadow
  • (remove root password, series of characters between first 2 colons)
  • exit nano saving changes

cd ..
tar -cf local.tgz etc/
tar -cf state.tgz local.tgz
mv state.tgz /boot
umount /boot
reboot

Credit for: https://www.altaro.com/vmware/reset-esxi-root-password/