Troubleshooting a Service Console/Tech Support Mode connection failure on an ESX/ESXi host
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Troubleshooting a Service Console/Tech Support Mode connection failure on an ESX/ESXi host

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Article ID: 308984

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Updated On:

Products

VMware vSphere ESXi

Issue/Introduction

Symptoms:
  • Cannot connect to an ESX Service Console
  • Cannot connect to an ESXi host using Tech Support Mode
  • You see entries similar to these in the /var/log/messages file on the ESXi host:

    • Oct 7 15:55:34 dropbear[208994]: user 'someuser' has invalid shell, rejected
    • Oct 7 15:57:50 dropbear[209283]: exit after auth (someuser): error changing directory


  • You see one or more of the following errors:

    • Network error: Connection Refused
    • Destination Host Unreachable
    • Cannot contact the specified host (IP Address/hostname). The host may not be available on the network, a network configuration problem may exist. or the management service on this host may not be responding


Environment

VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware ESX 4.1.x

Resolution

ESX

The following describes the Service Console TCP/IP stacks scenarios:
  • Service Console is independent from VMkernel TCP/IP stack.
  • ESX's Service Console is a derivative of REDHAT TCP/IP stacks, therefore there are many commands that are the same and some are unique to ESX.
  • Service Console is used for ESX management purposes, file copying, and for any general purpose that may require layer 3 IP configuration.
  • Multiple Service consoles can be configured for redundancy, and also for connecting to multiple subnets.

  • Many services require on Service Console to communicate, therefore may need more than one Service Console. For example heartbeat.
The following are basic Service Console TCP/IP configuration requirements:
  • The ESX host has physical network adapter connecting to physical network switches appliance
  • Proper/functional Ethernet Cable
  • Gateway appliance that can be either a router or switch appliance.
  • Establishing method of VLAN Tagging configuration (VST,EST, or VGT)
  • Proper IP address, network sub mask, and gateway configuration
Note: ESX 4.0 Update 2 introduces a tool that simplifies the process of creating or restoring networking in the ESX Service Console. For more information, see Configuring or restoring networking from the ESX service console using console-setup (1022078).
 
ESXi

Tech Support Mode (TSM) provides a command-line interface that can be used by the administrator to troubleshoot and correct abnormal conditions on VMware ESXi hosts. TSM can be accessed in two ways:
  • Logging in directly on the console of the ESXi server.
  • Logging in remotely via SSH.
Both of these methods can be disabled, and an optional timeout value can be configured to disallow local and remote TSM access after the specified timeout period.
Note: Any existing open sessions are not automatically terminated at the end of the timeout period.


Troubleshooting

Validate that each troubleshooting step below is true for your environment. The steps will provide instructions or a link to a document, for validating the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and identify the proper resolution. Do not skip a step.

  1. To ensure your Service Console is configured correctly, see Configuring networking from the ESX service console command line (1000258) for ESX. If you are using ESXi, see Tech Support Mode for Emergency Support (1003677) for ESXi 3.5 and 4.0. For ESXi 4.1 and above, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1017910) for more information.

  2. For ESX ensure any changes to the Service Console IP address have been correctly, see Changing the IP address, default gateway, and hostname of the Service Console in ESX (4309499). For ESXi see Configuring the ESXi Management Network from the direct console (1006710).

  3. For ESX verify that the Service Console network is configured correctly. For more information, see Verifying ESX host networking configuration on the Service Console (1003796).

  4. Verify that you can perform a successful ping test. For more information, see Testing network connectivity with the Ping command (1003486).

  5. If Gateway IP address is not reachable, verify that you can establish a VLAN tagging mode. For more information, see:

Note: If your problem still exists after trying the steps in this article, please:



Additional Information

If you are having trouble connecting to an ESXi 4.1 host using Tech Support Mode see Local users are unable to access local or remote Tech Support Mode on ESXi 4.1 (1029178).Configuring networking from the ESX service console command line
Testing network connectivity with the ping command
Tech Support Mode for Emergency Support
Verifying ESX host networking configuration on the service console
Sample configuration of virtual switch VLAN tagging (VST Mode)
Sample Configuration - ESX/ESXi connecting to physical switch via VLAN access mode and External Switch VLAN Tagging (EST Mode)
Configuring VMware ESXi Management Network from the direct console
Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) network information
Troubleshooting network connectivity with Virtual Switch Tagging (VST) / External Switch Tagging (EST) mode on an ESX/ESXi host
Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.x, and ESXi 6.x
Local users are unable to access local or remote Tech Support mode on ESXi 4.1
Changing the IP address, default gateway, and hostname of the Service Console in ESX