Pressing ALT + F1 on a remote ESXi console doesn’t bring up the console prompt

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Rarely when trying to access a server console via ALT + F1, the server may appear nonresponsive, however, sometimes this is just a false alarm.

This is more likely happening when using a KVM device as it may send incorrect characters over.

Before proceeding with this troubleshooting, please note that you need to enable console access on the host first.

  1. From the Direct Console User Interface, press F2 to access the System Customization menu.
  2. Select Troubleshooting Options and press Enter.
  3. From the Troubleshooting Mode Options menu, select Enable ESXi Shell.
  4. Press Enter to enable the service.

 

If that fails, follow the VMware documentation:

 

  1. Connect to the console of the VMware ESX host.
  2. At the VMware ESX banner screen, type in root.
    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type in the password of the root user on this VMware ESX host.
    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Type chvt 2.
    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing.
  7. Press Enter.

Note: You can now see the command prompt and everything that you type.

 

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