Where in !@#%* does the text on tty11 come from?

You know the text I’m talking about…when you walk up to an ESX host and it has the hostname and IP address along with instructions to “press ALT-F1 to open the ESX Server Console, press ALT-F11 to return to this screen”.

Yeah, that text. Where does it come from? It’s not a typical tty…it has a screen saver (if you let it be for a while it’ll go blank). I can’t figure out for the life of me where it’s started, or where it get’s it’s data from…well I found some things…but not where the obviously non-dynamic (text other than ip address, hostname) data comes from.

The point of my looking for how it get’s that data is because we recently changed the IP addresses of all our ESX hosts. The console (and consequentially webAccess) were on a public LAN. For security reasons, we didn’t want this, so we put them on a private LAN. Nothing difficult…took care of the entire process from VI Client (add new console interface, set as primary, remove old console interface). I even went to the trouble (ok, I might have OCD) of physically standing in front of the box and moving the new vswif1 so that it’s named vswif0, just because it was irritating me.

It was at this point that I noticed that the IP address on the console (tty11, or ALT-F11) was incorrect. I would have thought that it took care of that when I changed everything in VI client. I would have thought so again when I changed the interface names. But no. It still had the old IP listed.

After a lot of searching in files and grepping, I finally found where it’s set, and what is(n’t) happening. The hostname and ip address that are displayed on that interface come from the advanced settings. So, from the command line, issue:

Host name was correct, ip address was the old one. Ok…WTF?

Well, now it’s correct. Looks good. Reboot (patches were applied). WTF?!?! Old IP is back. Hmmmm. Time to review all network settings. First place to check…/etc/hosts…

The IP was still set to the old one in /etc/hosts. VI Client never updated it, and I never thought to double check it’s work. So, I updated /etc/hosts to reflect the new IP, rebooted, and viola, everything is correct.

So, if you change the IP address of your service console, make sure you update /etc/hosts. If you can’t reboot, then update the advanced config options using esxcfg-advcfg.

I still haven’t figured out where the rest of the text on tty11 is from though…

3 thoughts on “Where in !@#%* does the text on tty11 come from?”

  1. Sulli,

    May sound amateur…but did you check the /etc/hosts file to ensure that the changes through the app updated this file as well?


  2. That was the problem…changing the primary COS ip address didn’t update the /etc/hosts. I think it may have been because we created the second interface, then deleted the first, and somewhere in there it never realized that the second was now the primary, and only, interface.

  3. woops! i didn’t read all apparently (apparently skipped the part about /etc/hosts)! that’s what i get trying to read and interact with my daughter at the same time! my bad.


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