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Pressing ALT + F1 on a remote console of a VMware ESX machine does not leave the banner screen (1008671)

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You may not be able to change from the virtual terminal or banner screen at a VMware ESX machine when:
  • Connecting to a VMware ESX host using a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch or remote console card.
  • Pressing the ALT + F1 key combination.


This issue may occur if the the KVM switch or remote console device is sending invalid or misinterpreted characters to VMware ESX. The contents of the /var/log/messages log file can be used to determine if any invalid characters are being sent when the ALT key is pressed. For more information on how your device interprets characters, engage the device vendor.
Although it may not be visible, it is still possible to log into an ESX host using the banner screen. 
To log in:
  1. Connect to the console of the VMware ESX host.
  2. At the VMware ESX banner screen, type in root.

    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing.

  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type in the password of the root user on this VMware ESX host.

    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing. 
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Type chvt 2.

    Note: You cannot see the text that you are typing. 
  7. Press Enter.

    Note: You can now see the command prompt and everything that you type.

Additional Information

The ESX host console displays a graphic banner screen at boot time. To administer the ESX host, you need to leave this screen to work at the command prompt. To do so, press the ALT+F1 key. At the command prompt, you can return to the banner screen by pressing ALT+F11. This process is called changing virtual terminal.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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