Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) via SSH

It is possible to open the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) via SSH – using putty for example:

Open a putty to your ESXi Host (it is necessary to enable SSH – you can find a “how-to” below) and run the command “dcui”:

… now you can use the good old shell:

If you want the known yellow/grey skin just run the following command before starting the dcui:

export TERM=linux

How to enable SSH on your ESXi Host:

1. open Virtual Center – select the ESXi Host and “Configuration” Tab
2. select “Security Profile”
3. now doubleclick SSH in the “Services Properties” window
4. start the SSH service


  1. Mike Brown

    That is the coolest thing I’ve seen all day. Thanks!

  2. Toto

    Cool but how do you press F2 from Putty?

  3. Andreas

    @Toto: there is no problem to press F2. Did you try it?

  4. Amir Safayan

    Once in the dcui – you can press control-c to break the dcui and go back to the shell.


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