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My root passw for vCenter Appliance has expired and I need to boot it from Linux Live-CD in order to recover it, now whenever I reboot the vCenter Appl. within the vSphere console, I loose connection to the vSphere very soon. I access vSphere Web with and vCenter Appliance with https://esxi:5480 (both vSphere and vCener Appliance are on the same IP).

QUESTION:It looks I need to separate the IP for each of them , but where do I start? They're both on class C

Appreciate any input,

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You do know classful subnetting went out the window well over a decade ago right? Just a thought; nothing to do with your trouble. – Falcon Momot Apr 29 '14 at 7:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

HTTPS port 5480 is used to log into the vCenter Virtual Appliance configuration screens. HTTPS port 9443 is used to actually log into vCenter (not the appliance configuration). Both will be on the same IP address because they are one and the same, they can't be on different IP addresses.

If you reboot the vCenter Virtual Appliance then it is normal that you cannot access vCenter because you are rebooting the virtual machine that runs vCenter.

The vCenter Virtual Appliance is NOT an ESXi host, it is a virtual machine that runs on an ESXi host.

If you are actually able to log into your vCenter Virtual Appliance using https://esxi:5480 then my suggestion is to look up the difference between ESXi and the vCenter Virtual Appliance. Whomever set up the DNS entry esxi to point to vCenter made a mistake that points to not understanding the VMware vSphere environment.

You do not need a Linux Live-CD to recover from an expired vCenter Virtual Appliance password. See this VMware Knowledgebase entry:

vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 root account locked out after password expiration (2069041)

The above KB article will be there, and it's really too much to copy & paste here.


In order to get to the vCenter Appliance console screen you need to point your vSphere client to the actual ESXi host, rather than to vCenter. For example, if your ESXi host is esxi01.lab.local and your vCenter Virtual Appliance is vcva.lab.local, then point your browser to https://esxi01.lab.local:9443/vsphere-client/ which will connect you directly to the host. If your host is in lockdown mode, then you will need to connect to your host using a remote console (which you hopefully have, like an iDRAC, iLo, IPMI) and use the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) to remove Lockdown Mode. You will need the root password to get into the ESXi DCUI.

See VMware KB article: Enabling or disabling Lockdown mode on an ESXi host (1008077)

If you don't have the root password to the host, then one has to start to wonder what this is all about, but you could potentially reset that following the instructions in if you have either direct or remote console access. According to VMware reinstalling ESXi is the only way to reset a forgotten root password (VMware KB article: Changing a forgotten root password on an ESX/ESXi host (1317898)) but in reality it can actually be reset, though this method is not supported by VMware, see: How to reset the root password of VMware ESXi 4.1 and 5.0

I didn't test the reset instructions, but they will probably work for 5.1 and 5.5 as well.

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Thank you for the answer and the KB tells me to open the vSphere console of the Appliance in order to unlock root. But how can I see the loading process of vCenter Appliance (and interact with it) if I'm being disconnected from the vSphere client? Will DNS reconfiguration fix this? – dwerniczek Apr 29 '14 at 8:07
@user2557902 ok, I get what you are saying now, see updated answer for the solution, you can connect to the ESXi host with the vSphere client to get to the vCenter Appliance console – Reality Extractor Apr 29 '14 at 9:13

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