Earlier this year I wrote an article about using Google's Authenticator application to provide 2-Factor Authentication for connecting to ESXi using either the ESXi Shell locally or remotely over SSH. I also documented the process for compiling and building your own custom ESXi VIB with the help of two VMware engineers (Hongkun Xi & Jian Ouyang). Though the process was not terribly difficult, it did require minor source code modification and building a custom ESXi VIB. This also meant that you were required to lower the security acceptance of your ESXi host to community supported which is not a recommended practice. In addition, the custom ESXi VIB only supported a single administrator account which was root and additional work was required to support multiple administrators.

Well it turns out that both Hongkun and Jian have been quite busy enhancing this project in their spare time and have just released an ESXi Google Authenticator Fling! The Fling is distributed as a custom ESXi VIB which is signed by VMware, so you no longer have to lower the security of your ESXi host. It supports both ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 and it allows for multiple administrators to login using Google Authenticator.

Here is a list of the features that are supported:

  • Two-Factor Authentication for ESXi Shell and SSH access
  • Supports multiple administrators login on esx5.1, and single admin (root) on esx5.0
  • Support for 30-second TOTP codes
  • Support for emergency scratch codes
  • Protection against replay attacks

To learn more about the Fling and instructions on setting up the ESXi Google Authenticator, be sure to visit the VMware Lab's site.

If you have any feedback or questions, be sure to leave a comment on the Fling's web page here.

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