Changing the default shell in vCSA 6.x

Yesterday, I found myself needing to copy some files to vCSA 6.5. I generally use something like WinSCP but the problem with this method is that the vCSA, by default, is configured to return the appliance shell when logging in as root instead of Bash.

So, when you try to connect with WinSCP this is what you get:

winscp-error

Luckily, there is an easy way to have vCSA return the Bash shell by default. Here are the steps:

  • Make sure SSH and Bash are enabled. Load the Appliance Management tool by browsing to https://vCSA-FQDN-or-IP:5480. From the menu, select Access, hit the Edit button and enable both options as shown.

2017-02-17-15_08_05-vmware-appliance-management

  • SSH to the vCSA using something like Putty, log in as root and run the following:
shell
chsh -s /bin/bash root

putty-ssh-vcsa.png

  • You should now be able to WinSCP to the appliance.

winscp-success

When you’re done copying, reset the appliance to return the default appliance shell, like so:

chsh -s /bin/appliancesh root

If required, go back to the Appliance Management tool and disable both options.

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