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how to make sshd enabled as appliance agent boot

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Forum Member
Posts: 36
Comments: 46

Hi, we use Linux appliance on vmware. We would like to have the sshd enable all the time. Is there any way I can make sshd loaded automatically as the appliance boot? therefore, we don't have to manually load it each time. 

Also, how can I change the root password of the agent's appliance. passwd is not available

Thanks,

Aldous

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Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3117

Hi Aldous,

The SSH access in Agent for VMware (Virtual Appliance) was designed to be a troubleshooting/one-time management utility only, so it's not possible to change the root password (SSH is the only place where this password is required). We will consider adding the "passwd" utility into appliance in future updates.

You still enable /bin/sshd to start automatically by adding corresponding line (/bin/sshd) into /bin/autostart file on appliance. It should be placed near the end of this script, for example here:

Thank you.

Forum Member
Posts: 36
Comments: 46

Hi Vasily, Thanks for the quick respond. unfortunately, without changing the default password of root, I can't leave sshd enabled because it's not secured. Anyway, for you info, we want sshd enabled because we had an instance below:

we have a acronis linux appliance agent running on of one of the esxi host and it has mounted local disk (vmdk) for backup location. One day, the esxi host was having "host isolation" issue (i.e. we lost access to vmware management of the host but all the VM were still running). In order to resolve our issue, we had to power cycle the esxi host. Since we were unable to sshd to the appliance, we were unable to shutdown the VM gracefully. Also, since we have over 30 VMs running on this esx host, we had to schedule a maintenance window to shutdown other VMs and reboot the esx host. Before our maintenance window arrived, all the VM backups handled by the acronis agent stopped because we had no access to the appliance and all the vmdk files were locked by the appliance. Therefore, we were unable to move the appliance to different esxi host to continue the backups. 

Anyway, hopefully, sshd and passwd will be added in the future release. 

Regards,

Aldous

Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3117

Hi Aldous,

Thank you for the additional details. Even though I'm not completely sure if I got all the situation correctly (why there were lock on disks if the backup was not running during host reset for example (or was it running?)), there is one tip I can suggest: use Agent for VMware (Windows) instead of virtual appliance. This will require some Windows VM (could be some cheap Windows 7 x64 bit for example) as the downside, but as the benefit it can be potentially managed in more secure and predictable manner. When the Agent for VMware is running inside a Windows VM, it will operate in exactly the same manner as the appliance, e.g. it will be capable for attaching the backed up VMs disks to itself for direct read access + it will be easier to attach/manage backup storage to Windows VM which can be then NTFS-formatted, instead of "ext4-format" used on locally attached storage in case of appliance.

Thank you.

Forum Member
Posts: 36
Comments: 46

Hi Vasily, we added a 3 TB vmdk to the agent appliance as local storage and all backup stored in it. Since we lost the access to the vmware host while the VM was still running, all vmdk were mounted by the running vm (the appliance). Unless we can shut down the VM (appliance), we won't be able to move the appliance VM to different ESX host. Without SSH enable, we had no way.

Anyway, it's not something happening everyday. But, it will be nice if we can access via SSH with non-default root password.

We choose to use Appliance because 1. no windows license. 2. appliance use much less system resources (CPU/RAM/Disk) than Windows. 3. (most importantly), appliance is very easy to rebuild within 30 minutes. (Rebuild WIndows needs to due with licensing, updates, installation... usually take hours. even with template, I still need to do updates and configuration). 

Regards,

Aldous