Setting up an ESXi host through the DCUI

I was running through the initial set up of a new ESXi server the other day and I thought I would put together a quick post collecting the steps together that I use.

I was setting this host up on a new Dell R640 which came with the ESXi pre-installed. In my example I was setting it up through the virtual console session on the iDRAC. My host was already patched into a trunked connection which was carrying my management network.

  • First log onto the DCUI of the new ESXI host. Press F2 to bring up the logon box and keep the username as ‘root‘ and enter the default password. For an ESXi pre-instsalled Dell server the default password is the server service tag plus a ! at the end.
  • Once logged in go to ‘Configure Management Network
  • Select ‘Network Adapters
  • Select the vmnics that will be carrying the management network
  • If you are using a trunked connection with multiple vlans rather than an access point for the management network than you’ll have to enter the management vlan. Select VLAN (optional)
  • Enter the vlan number of your management network
  • Select ‘IPv4 Configuration
  • Set a static IP
  • This step is optional. I disable IPv6 as part of my setup
  • If you do disable IPv6 will will be required to restart the ESXi host. You’ll be prompted to reboot after exiting the dialog box
  • Select ‘DNS Configuration
  • Enter the DNS details and enter the new hostname
  • Select ‘Custom DNS Suffixes
  • Enter your DNS suffix
  • Move back up to the top and select ‘Configure Password
  • Enter the new root password. I would recommend saving the password in a secure password manager like Cyberark
  • At the logon screen of the DCUI you’ll see a message about restoring the default DCUI screen. Now that the root password has been changed this can be done. This is a Dell only step but other vendors might do something similar.
  • Logon with your new root password and pick ‘Troubleshooting Options
  • Enable SSH
  • Open a SSH session to the ESXi host. Enter the command:
  • localcli system welcomemsg set -m ''
  • The DCUI will now default back to the standard VMware version
  • Don’t forget to go back to ‘Troubleshooting Options‘ and Disable SSH

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