The vCenter Server Appliance has the default user name root@localos and password vmware. You can also create a custom password that the vCenter Server Appliance reads the first time you boot the appliance.

By creating a custom password the first time you start the vCenter Server Appliance, you ensure that the default password cannot be used.

Note: When you change the root vCenter Server Appliance password using the vCenter Server Appliance Web interface, the GRUB password is changed automatically. However, when you change the vCenter Server Appliance password using the vCenter Server Appliance console, the GRUB password is not changed. You must update the vCenter Server Appliance root password using the Web interface to simultaneously change the GRUB password.


  1. From a terminal window on your Linux host machine, type the following command to create an MD5 hash of the custom password.
  2. At the prompt, type the new password and press Enter.
    The system returns the MD5 hash of the password.
  3. Create a CD directory.
    mkdir cd
  4. Add the MD5 hash to the vCenter Server Appliance configuration file.
    echo 'rootPwdHashMD5=hash_password' > cd/vcva.cfg

    hash_password is the MD5 hash of the password returned in Step 2. Use single quotes for the echo command, as shown, because the hash_password contains $ characters that must be escaped otherwise.

  5. Create an ISO file containing the password.
    mkisofs -R -o rootpass.iso cd
  6. Attach the CD/DVD drive of the vCenter Server Appliance virtual machine to the rootpass.iso file, and make sure that Connected at power on is selected.


When you turn on the vCenter Server Appliance, it reads and applies the custom password you created for the root user.