BE aware that Console access in ESXi is not supported!
To gain access to the CLI in ESXi:
# From the primary console press ALT-F1
# Type unsupported and press ENTER (there will be no curser indication that you are typing)
# Enter the root password
To Enable SSH to this CLI interface you will need to use the VI editor.
If you have never worked in VI it is a bit awkward at first.
# Edit the inetd.conf file. Type vi /etc/inetd.conf
# Search for the #SSH settings
# Remove the ‘#’ from the SSH row
# Save the changes. Type :wq!
# Find the process ID of inetd. Type ps | grep inetd
# Kill the process with the PID shown by the previous line. Type kill -9 [PID]
# Restart managment agents /sbin/services.sh restart
# restart the inetd process. Type inetd