You can manage the vCenter Server from the vCenter Server Management Interface or from the vCenter Server shell.

For more information about managing vCenter Server, see vCenter Server Configuration.

Table 1. Interfaces for Managing the vCenter Server
Interface Description
vCenter Server Management Interface Use this interface to reconfigure the system settings. See Manage vCenter Server Using the Management Interface.
vCenter Server shell Use this command-line interface to perform service management operations on VMCA, VECS, and VMDIR. See Managing Certificates Using the vSphere Certificate Manager Utility and vSphere Certificates and Services CLI Command Reference.

Manage vCenter Server Using the Management Interface

You can use the vCenter Server Management Interface to configure the system settings.

Settings in the vCenter Server Management Interface include time synchronization, network settings, and SSH login settings. You can also change the root password, join the appliance to an Active Directory domain, and leave an Active Directory domain.
Note: Under the Networking pane, the virtual NIC 0 is reserved for management traffic. You cannot reassign the traffic from NIC 0 to another NIC. If you are using VCHA, this traffic uses NIC 1. You can add NICs to the vCenter Server Appliance. See the VMware knowledge base article at


  1. In a browser, go to the Web interface at https://vcenter_server_ip:5480.
  2. If a warning message about an untrusted SSL certificate appears, resolve the issue based on your company security policy and the browser that you are using.
  3. Log in as root.
    The default root password is the root password that you set when deploying the vCenter Server.


You see the Summary page of the vCenter Server Management Interface.

Manage vCenter Server Using the vCenter Server Shell

You can use service management utilities and CLIs from the vCenter Server shell. You can use TTY1 to log in to the console, or can use SSH to connect to the shell.


  1. Activate SSH login if necessary.
    1. Log in to the vCenter Server Management Interface at https://vcenter_server_ip:5480.
    2. In the Navigator, select Access and click Edit.
    3. Toggle on Activate SSH Login and click OK.
    You can follow the same steps to activate the Bash shell for the vCenter Server.
  2. Access the shell.
    • If you have direct access to the vCenter Server console, select Log in, and press Enter.
    • To connect remotely, use SSH or another remote console connection to start a session to the vCenter Server.
  3. Log in as root with the password that you set when you initially deployed the vCenter Server.
    If you changed the root password, use the new password.

Add a vCenter Server to an Active Directory Domain

If you want to add an Active Directory identity source to vCenter Server, you must join the vCenter Server to an Active Directory domain.

If you are unable to use vCenter Server Identity Provider Federation, or Active Directory over LDAPS, vCenter Server supports Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA). To use IWA, you must join the vCenter Server to your Active Directory domain.


  1. Using the vSphere Client, log in to vCenter Server as a user with administrator privileges in the local vCenter Single Sign-On domain (vsphere.local by default).
  2. Select Administration.
  3. Expand Single Sign On and click Configuration.
  4. Under the Identity Provider tab, click Active Directory Domain.
  5. Click Join AD, enter the domain, optional organizational unit, and user name and password, and click Join.
  6. Restart vCenter Server.

What to do next

To attach users and groups from the joined Active Directory domain, add the joined domain as a vCenter Single Sign-On identity source. See Add or Edit a vCenter Single Sign-On Identity Source.