Password requirements differ for vCenter Server and for ESXi hosts.

vCenter Server Passwords

In vCenter Server, password requirements are dictated by vCenter Single Sign-On or by the configured identity source, which can be Active Directory, OpenLDAP, or the local operating system for the vCenter Single Sign-On server. See Edit the vCenter Single Sign-On Password Policy, or see the relevant Active Directory or OpenLDAP documentation.

ESXi Passwords

By default, ESXi enforces requirements for user passwords.

Your user password must meet the following length requirements.

  • Passwords containing characters from one or two character classes must be at least eight characters long.

  • Passwords containing characters from three character classes must be at least seven characters long.

  • Passwords containing characters from all four character classes must be at least six characters long.

When you create a password, include a mix of characters from four character classes: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters such as an underscore or dash.

The password cannot contain the words root, admin, or administrator in any form.

Note:

An uppercase character that begins a password does not count toward the number of character classes used. A number that ends a password does not count toward the number of character classes used.

You can also use a passphrase, which is a phrase consisting of at least three words, each of which is 8 to 40 characters long.

Creating Acceptable ESXi Passwords

The following password candidates meet the requirements of ESXi.

  • xQaTEhbU: Contains eight characters from two character classes.

  • xQaT3pb: Contains seven characters from three character classes.

  • xQaT3#: Contains six characters from four character classes.

The following password candidates do not meet the requirements of ESXi.

  • Xqat3hb: Begins with an uppercase character, reducing the effective number of character classes to two. Eight characters are required when you use only two character classes.

  • xQaTEh2: Ends with a number, reducing the effective number of character classes to two. Eight characters are required when you use only two character classes.