I ended up reinstalling ESXi 3.5u3 recently since there were no running needed VMs on the box and I wanted to play with a few changes I made to the installer image. I have a few steps I do after installation which seem common enough after doing some googling so I thought I just write up how to do them in one spot.
You can do a lot of management from the VIC or RCLI but some days I just feel like logging onto the console and getting a shell. You can get to it from the console but I don’t like getting off the couch. SSH isn’t enabled by default but it is available.
Access the console on the box by hitting CTRL+F1, type “unsupported” (it doesn’t echo), and then enter the root password.1) Edit the inetd .conf file: # vi /etc/inetd.conf 2)Uncomment the SSH line: :%s/#ssh/ssh/ 3)SIGHUP inetd: # ps | grep inetd | cut-f 1 -d ‘ ‘
Keep in mind that a user created through the VIC will not be able to ssh in since their shell is set to /bin/false and their home directory is non-existent. You can’t enable shell access using `vicfg-user` from the RCLI package so this needs to be done from console. The easiest thing to do is add the user via the VIC or `vicfg-user` and then edit /etc/passwd to change the user’s home directory to “/” and their shell to “/bin/ash”. (`usermod` can change the user’s shell but not thier home directory.)
Setup an SSL certificate
After installing I rename the box which means it’s time to get a new SSL cert to reflect that. You can run `/sbin/create_certificates` to create a self-signed certificate or you can create a certificate and have it signed by a CA. I have a CA setup here at home and signed the new key with that. I also created the key on that box as well. (You can just create an /usr/local/ssl/openssl.cnf file which is missing based on the `create_certificates` script if you want to create the key and csr on the ESXi host.) File paths of course differ depending on the OS you use to generate the key.1) Generate the “rui.key” file: # openssl genrsa -out /etc/ssl/private/rui.key 1024 2) Create the certificate signing request: # openssl req -new -text -key /etc/ssl/private/rui.key -out /etc/ssl/rui.csr 3) Sign with your own CA. (Or send the file off to your CA.): # openssl x509 -req -text -days 7000 -in /etc/ssl/rui.csr -CA /etc/ssl/CA.crt \ -CAkey /etc/ssl/private/CA.key -out /etc/ssl/rui.crt 4) Set proper file permissions:
# chmod 0400 /etc/ssl/private/rui.keychmod 0444 /etc/ssl/rui.crt 5) Copy the files over to the ESXi host and delete the ones just created: # scp /etc/ssl/rui.crt /etc/ssl/private/rui.key esxihost:/etc/vmware/ssl # rm /etc/ssl/rui.crt /etc/ssl/rui.csr /etc/ssl/private/rui.key
Reboot the ESXi host. (Not sure what specific service needs to be restarted.)
Send hostname by DHCP client
The ESXi DHCP client does not send the hostname but it can. I searched through the system to see where the dhcp client was started but couldn’t find it. I have a feeling it’s in the _vmkctl python module but couldn’t find the source for it to confirm this. Instead I just use a script that I snagged off the VMware forums and drop it into /etc/rc.local.d. The host ends up DHCPing twice but whatever.1) Extract the oem.tgz: # mkdir /tmp/oem/ # tar xzf /bootbank/oem.tgz -C /tmp/oemmkdir -p /tmp/oem/etc/rc.local.d 2) Create /tmp/oem/etc/rc.local.d/send-hostname:
#! /bin/ash if [ -r /var/run/dhcp-vmk0.pid ]; then kill $(cat /var/run/dhcp-vmk0.pid) /bin/busybox udhcpc -i vmk0 -p /var/run/dhcp-vmk0.pid --retries=20 -H $(hostname | cut -d . -f 1) fi3) Make the script executable and then tar it up. # chmod +x /tmp/oem/etc/rc.local.d/send-hostname # cd /tmp/oem # tar zcvf /bootbank/oem.tgz *
After that just reboot or copy the send-hostname script over to /etc/rc.local.d and run it.
These are the three things I usually do after installing ESXi and hopefully this will save a few people some extra googling. The next thing I’m trying to figure out is how to build applications for the service console. Specifically, I’d like to get pam_krb5 and nss_ldap working on the service console.