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Unable to log in to VMware vCenter Server Appliance with the Use Windows session credentials option in the vSphere Client (2020970)


  • You are unable to log in to VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) when using the Use Windows session credentials option in the vSphere Client.
  • Logging in to vCenter Server Appliance fails.
  • You see a popup with the error:

    Window session credentials cannot be used to log into this server. Enter a user name and password

  • Login credentials work as expected when you enter them manually. 


This issue occurs when the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the VCSA is not configured correctly.


To resolve this issue, verify that the forward and reverse DNS of the domain controller(s) is in place.

Note: If this does not address the issue, it may additionally be required to change the shortname of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance to the FQDN.
To change the shortname of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance to the FQDN:
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to https://IP address of vCenter Server:5480.
  2. Click the Network tab.
  3. Change the hostname to indicate the FQDN.
  4. Log in to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance console as root. The default password is vmware.
  5. Run this command to restart the vpxd service:

    service vmware-vpxd restart

To make this change persistent across reboots, update the HOSTNAME file.

Note: It is recommended to take a snapshot of the vCenter Server Appliance so that you may revert to a previous state in the event that the steps below are unsuccessful. After you have confirmed a successful resolution, you may remove the snapshot.
To update the hostname and domain:

  1. Open an SSH session to the VCSA and log in as root.
  2. Define a correctly formatted host name with a domain name by running the command:


  3. Navigate to the /etc directory.
  4. Open the HOSTNAME file using a text editor.

    Note: The HOSTNAME file name is case sensitive.

  5. Change host to
  6. Save and close the HOSTNAME file.
  7. Open the hosts file using a text editor.

    Note: The default location is /etc/hosts

  8. Add the IP address, hostname and short name, for example: host

  9. Save and close the hosts file.
  10. Restart the send mail service by running the command:

    service sendmail restart

    After changing the hostname on the vCenter Server Appliance, you must regenerate the self-signed SSL certificated for the vCenter Server Appliance.
To regenerate the self-signed SSL certificates:
    1. Log in to the vCenter Server Appliance Web Interface at https://hostname:5480/.
    2. Click the Admin tab.
    3. Regenerate certificates:
      • In vCenter Server 5.1, select Toggle certificate setting so that the Certificate regeneration enabled displays Yes.
      • In vCenter Server 5.5, select Yes under Certificate regeneration enabled.
    4. Click Submit.
    5. Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance.
      After the vCenter Server Appliance reboots, ensure that the Certificate regeneration enabled option is set to disabled.

See Also

Update History

04/03/2014 - Added VCSA 5.5 to Product Versions.

Request a Product Feature

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