How to download files from vmware host

Use the following methods to get access to files on the datastore and the esxi host.

To access the files on esxi host type http://ESX_host_IP_Address/host
To access the files on datastore type http://ESX_host_IP_Address/folder

(You actually type the word host and folder in the URL). You may not be able to put files  to the ESXi, but at least you can download files from the host.

If you want to be able to put files to the ESXi host, you  need to use the scp command.

Step 1 – Enable SSH on ESXi (One Time)

  1. On the console of the ESXi Server, on the ESXi server’s administration window where  <F2> Configure and <F12> Shutdown/Restart options display, press ALT+F1 to enter CLI mode.
  2. Enter “unsupported” in the console, and then press Enter. (Note: You will not see the text you type.) If  “unsupported” is typed correctly, the Tech Support Mode warning and a password prompt displays.
  3. Enter the password for the root login. You will then see the prompt of ~ #.
  4. Edit the file inetd.conf (for example, enter the command vi /etc/inetd.conf).
  5. Find the line that begins with #ssh and remove the #, and then save the file. If new to using vi, then move the cursor down to #ssh line and then press the Insert key. Move the cursor over one space, and then hit backspace to delete the #. Then press ESC and type in :wq! to save the file and exit vi. If a mistake is made, press the ESC key and then type it :q! to quit vi without saving the file.
  6. Once the vi editor is closed, run the command /sbin/ restart to restart the management services. Now the machine is able to connect to the ESXi host with an SSH client.

Step 2 – Copy the Files

  • Use a free tool, such as winscp (, to copy the export folder to ESXi. Make sure to change the default encryption cipher from AES to Blowfish to see significantly faster transfers.



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