The ESXi Shell is disabled by default. You can set an availability timeout for the ESXi Shell to increase security when you enable the shell.

The availability timeout setting is the amount of time that can elapse before you must log in after the ESXi Shell is enabled. After the timeout period, the service is disabled and users are not allowed to log in.


  1. From the Troubleshooting Mode Options menu, select Modify ESXi Shell and SSH timeouts and press Enter.
  2. Enter the availability timeout.
    You must restart the SSH service and the ESXi Shell service for the timeout to take effect.
  3. Press Enter and press Esc until you return to the main menu of the Direct Console User Interface.
  4. Click OK.


If you are logged in when the timeout period elapses, your session will persist. However, after you log out or your session is terminated, users are not allowed to log in.