Category: VMWare Server

In the world of ESX/ESXI, it is easy to forget how to access VMWare server. The obvious choice is to start the vSphere client, attempt access and the get a message about an unknown connection error has occurred.

I run into this problem from time to time as I have a couple VMWare servers running in labs.

To log in to VMWare Server 2.0, you will have to access https://<sesrver name>:8333/ui/ or https://localhost:8333/ui/ from a browser.

Depending on how it was configured, you will use either a local account or a network account.

In many situations; the root account is rightfully not used. If this is the case, you will get message “You do not have permissions to login to the server.”


One of the great annoyances in computing is the forgotten password and or account. I received a request to clone a VM on a vmware server which was running on Redhat. For whatever reason; probably due to rare access needs; I seem to forget the login for this particular system. I tried the root account and after a few iterations of passwords, I was rewarded with:

You do not have permissions to login to the server.

Strange since I obviously used this before? I checked around the configuration files to see if root was disabled and found it wasn’t.

At this point, I wondered if I had used another account to configure vmware server. I checked /etc/passwd and saw an obvious candidate but I wanted to make sure this was the account.

One way to verify the main account would be to examine the file: authorization.xml

[root@someserver]# more /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml


  <ACEData id=”10″>








  <ACEData id=”11″>










Looking at ACEDataUser; we see the account vmroot (name changed to protect the innocent). This was the same account found in /etc/password. After a couple tries, login was successful.

When you first install vmware server 2.0; you have the option to establish the main account. It can be root or a local account. There are reasons not to use root. In this situation; there was a user who wanted root access to vmware but was not allowed root access to the host.

I had a situation where a vmware server host was moved but the IP address was not changed. This was corrected but when it came time to check the VM guests; the web client gave an error off with “503 Service Unavailable.”

DNS was correct. The address pinged. But, the client still could not connect. The net offered a few suggestions but nothing of an “ah ha!” moment.

I checked the host one more time and noticed not all of the vmware processes were up. I decided to kill the remaining processes but found a couple would not stop. I rebooted the host and the same thing happened again. Something was very wrong with the web aspects of vmserver.

I checked the logs but no errors.

On a whim; I looked at /etc/resolv.conf and found it had two different DNS servers. I changed the configuration to the correct DNS servers, rebooted and the client could connect.




Forgotten passwords are so fun. For me it seems to always be an issue when the user needs the virtual machine right away.

I had such an issue where a VM host received a new IP address and nobody thought about the guests on the machine.

The host in question was a Redhat 5 box running VMware server 2.0. There were two guests. One XP and the other Win7. The XP guest was easily changed but for some reason somebody changed the local administrator account on the Win7 guest and of course nobody admitted to it.

Luckily, there is a nice utility which can go into the registry hive and reset the Administrator password. This utility is called Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.

Get the latest version especially if you have Win7. The download will give you a ZIP file which contains an ISO file. You can build a CD or in this case use the ISO file.

After you have extracted the ISO, copy it to a directory on the host.  In my case, I put it with the vmware folder as the ISO file is small.

Once in place, power off the guest.  Edit the guest configuraiton.  For the Cdrom, select the ISO option and direct it to the ISO.

Power up the guest and it will boot the ISO and start the program.

It’s very simply to use.  The author has old documentation but it’s still useful for getting an idea how the program will work.  It’s located here.

Some things to make note:
1) the registry path will either be winnt or windows depending on the operating system and if there were upgrades rather then fresh installs.
2) I had to “blank out” the local administrator password as I did try to change it to the current and I could not logon after rebooting.
3) Sometimes the local administrator is disabled. Make sure you clear that before you reboot.

After I enabled the local administrator account; I was able to access the VM and change the network configuration and get the VM on the network.

Finally, if you think this should have pictures and a full blown walkthrough, please comment it and I will modify this post.

VM boots too fast.

I had a situation where I needed to reset the password on an Ubuntu guest running on vmware server 2.0.1.

I could not hit the escape key fast enough to access the GRUB loader.  I tried many iterations but the guest booted too fast.  What to do?

One way to slow down the boot process is to configure the guest to boot to BIOS.

In VMware Server; power down the guest.

Bring up the web access and click on the specific Guest.  After that click the power tab and you will see an option for:

BIOS Setup
Enter the BIOS setup screen the next time this virtual machine boots

Click the box and click ok

Power up the Guest and you will be presented with the bios screen.

Exit the bios screen and hit the escape key (possibly a couple times) and you will get the grub loader.

There you can edit the particular kernel and add “single” to the end of the line and boot the guest into single user mode where you will get options for what to boot.  Select the option for command shell and there you can reset the root password with the passwd command.