PuTTY Connection Refused When Connecting To ESXi Over SSH

You may find that your connection is refused when you try to connect to a VMware ESXi host and you get this error:

PuTTY Fatal Error
Network error: Connection refused

The network connection is refused because ESXi is set to refuse SSH connections. To allow PuTTY to connect to ESXi over SSH, do the following:

  1. Log onto the ESXi host’s console connection
  2. Go to Troubleshooting Options
  3. Under Troubleshooting Mode Options, select Disable Remote Tech Support (SSH). This will be set to Disabled. Press the Enter key and this will be set to Enabled and you will now be able to connect to the ESXi host with PuTTY over SSH
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