This morning I noticed a very interesting retweet by fellow vExpert Wil van Antwerpen from another vExpert: Richard Cardona (You may know him as rcardona2k on the VMTN Community Forums) about a neat little trick with the use of remote ESXi Shell (previous known as remote TSM).

For those of you who login remotely via SSH to the ESXi Shell (previously known as unsupported mode and Tech Support Mode) know that you can run the DCUI utility remotely by just typing "dcui". The remote DCUI works just like it does using the direct console, with the exception of displaying the famous yellow and black screen that we are familiar with.

Richard came upon a neat little trick by setting the terminal type to "linux" from the default "xterm" that the yellow and black can be enabled when using the remote DCUI.

Before launching DCUI utility, you will need to run the following command on the ESXi Shell:

export TERM=linux

Next you will just type "dcui" and hit enter

Here is an example of running remote DCUI in color on ESXi 5

Here is an example of running remote DCUI in color on ESXi 4.1

Note: As you can see this is not a new trick in vSphere 5, but has been there since 4.x days but one big change with vSphere 5 is the full resolution of DCUI which many have complained about in the past.

If you are interested in other ways of customizing the DCUI, take a look at this blog post How to add a splash of color to ESXi DCUI Welcome Screen

Don't forget to play some cool soundtrack music when using the DCUI 😉

6 thoughts on “How to Add a Splash of Remote Color to ESXi Shell

  1. I have tried this in an ESXi 5.0 and besides it shows a yellow DCUI it does not accept F2 to enter configuration. Any ideia ? Thanks. Marcos

  2. I am seeing the same problem. Alt+F2 is also not working. It shows as yellow. But, none of the keys are working.

  3. I found the answer.
    in your putty settings
    On Left side menu under: Terminal
    Go to ->keyboard.

    change The Function keys and keypad to :Linux
    Login again and it should be working as the console does.

  4. Just for reference in case someone needs this, dcui will silently exit if the TERM is not what it wants. TERM=linux will get you the color behavior, but then I couldn’t send an F2 key. I had to set TERM=xterm and then it was in B&W but F2 worked. 🙂

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