How to enable root access and activate SSH access in ESX 4.0

By default, when you install ESX 4.0, the root access is disable. To enable it, you can follow bellow step.

1. Press ALT+F1 to access the console and login as root

2. vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

3. Look for PermitRootLogin and change it to yes
#LoginGraceTime 2m
PermitRootLogin yes
#StrictModes yes
#MaxAuthTries 6

4. Restart the sshd service
# service sshd restart

If you want to ssh to another server in esx, by default it being block. You will get port 22: connection refused error so, execute below command as root to open firewall ports.

# esxcfg-firewall -e sshServer
# esxcfg-firewall -e sshClient

Good Luck!