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 Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password? 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Hi everyone.

I am following this post to recover/reset the root password of my ESXi host, and I can't quite figure out where the VMware files are, and therefore neither how to mount them in order to start looking for the latest version of either local.tgz or state.tgz.
I'm new to Linux and hopefully that's only the reason why I struggle at this stage.

In my case typing fdisk -l returns the following:

Disk /dev/sda: 107.3Gb
/dev/sda1 * 1 13055 104855552 7 HFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 268.4Gb
/dev/sdb1 1 32636 2621... 7 HFS/NTFS

I can mount /dev/sda1 but then what I see in there is only the Windows Server 2008 files. W2k8 being the only VM guest currently installed.
I can also mount /dev/sdb1 and then I see even less, just a few files that look like a partial install of Windows Server 2008, but nothing like the stream of WMware files that I should see.

Could anyone give me some directions regarding how/where to find local.tgz or state.tgz in order to proceed get back ownership of this ESXi server ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:02 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Are you running ESXi on a USB stick?

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
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Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:45 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Hi Dave.

No, but you're guessing in the right direction already!

I asked my question on #vwmare on irc.freenode.net yesterday and I could already get some clues from people out there.

I figured out that the live Linux CD was booted after ESXi... but before the only hosted VM (Windows Server 2008).

I don't know ESXi enough to understand how that happens but basically my machine's BIOS is not set up to boot from CD (but still from the hard drive on which ESXi is installed), but, once ESXi is started, the Linux CD is booted before Windows.

I am not sure yet how I'm going to get out of this as the machine is headless and I need to change the BIOS settings to set the boot process from the Linux CD before anything else.
I know there is a VGA port, but no PS/2 ports, so my hope is that I can sneak in with a USB keyboard hoping that it'll be working before ESXi is started.
I know that the USB ports are disabled once in the VM... so I suppose/hope this is something that was setup from within ESXi.
If not, if somehow the USB ports were disabled from the BIOS, then I'm really not too sure what to do.

I mean in that latter case I can hope that the BIOS is maybe setup to boot from the network and go down that path with the Linux files, but I kind of guess that if the boot from CD was not on the top of the list then the boot from the Ethernet controller will not be either.

Well if you have any experience in similar situations, please let me know your thoughts at this stage.
Best regards.

D


Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Do you have another backup admin account?

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:59 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Nope, unfortunately.


Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Or, if you could tell some default accounts that are usual there in ESXi I could always try with a blank password, just in case...


Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:18 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
You'll need to get some sort of local access to be able to boot either with CD or USB (or you could pull the boot disk and stick it in another system).

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:35 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Sure, gosh, I'd rather avoid that but yeah.

I'll see if the screen + USB keyboard let me change the boot order first.
If not then I guess I'll have to do what you just suggested.


Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:59 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Where to find local.tgz for resetting the root password?
Ok so first of all, I eventually got to apply the steps described in your article and it worked flawlessly. I could reset the ESXi password and it's now all good [thumbs up!]

Now for those interested... it was quite bumpy to get there. So yeah I could plug an USB keyboard and a screen onto that server machine, and I could start playing around with the boot sequence.
However, impossible to boot from a USB drive or from the CD/DVD drive. Even disabling every other boot device than the wanted one would lead me to having ESXi starting "as usual".
The only other option that was considered by this machine was to boot from the network. I'm still confused about this boot sequence situation, I have looked everywhere in the BIOS settings and I couldn't find any option preventing the USB and CD/DVD drives to be booted from.

Anyway, thanks a million.


Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:33 am
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