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Tunneling vSphere Client in Windows

Using tunneling over SSH you can forward the multiple ports needed to access the vSphere client used to administrate ESX or ESXi hosts.

  • SSH jumpbox (from this jumpbox you should have access to the ESX/ESXi machine)
  • PuTTY or Cygwin

So basically we are binding the following ports: 443, 902, and 903 to our localhost using PuTTy in this tutorial.


  1. Open up PuTTy and configure the settings to look as follows where destIP=your destination IP address of the ESX box
  2. Go back to the session tab and type the hostname/IP address of your SSH jumpbox. Alternatively you could open up cygwin and type the following: ssh -L 443:destIP:443 -L 902:destIP:902 -L 903:destIP:903 user@jumpboxIP
  3. Edit the hosts file in windows C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (this is required as esxi relies on dns name and uses local resolution).

    Add the entry:    ESXiHostname
  4. Open up vSphere client and login with the hostname of the remote ESX box

Common Errors:
Unable to connect to the MKS: Failed to connect to server :902

Occurs if you are not properly forwarding port 902 903

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