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VMWare ESX CHAP password recovery January 20, 2012

Posted by jamesisaac in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

Just a quick note, once again brought about by necessity.

This evening I needed to hook up a new VMWare ESX host to an old SAN (and by old, I mean it was about four years old). The original configuration notes were long gone. After plugging the new host into the SAN switch and configuring an iSCSI ip address, I was faced with the dilemma of finding out what the iSCSI CHAP authentication username and password was. I could see from the existing ESX hosts that we were using CHAP authentication, and I could get the username from the GUI. But what’s the password? I tried a few of our “tried and true” passwords, but had no luck.

Option 1: log into the SAN and reset the CHAP authentication. Change the passwords on the VMWare hosts at the same time. Downside: outage. Upside: know we know what the password is.

There’s got to be another way… and there is!


This KB gave me the info in a roundabout way. If you can read the /etc/vmkiscsi.conf file on an existing VMWare host, then the CHAP username and password are listed in cleartext. Yay.

I grabbed this information, put it into the new host, rescanned the iSCSI adapter, and away we went.




1. David Bell - October 29, 2013

I tried doing this on a ESXi 5.0 host that is currently configured to connect to iSCSI storage and use CHAP, but the file does not exist on this host at all. Any other suggestions?

Ben McClure - November 1, 2013

David, I had an issue like this where I needed to get this information and its not in a text format but a sqlite format in the file:


If you copy this to somewhere that has a sqlite client (I used sqlite manager for firefox) and open it, you can either just view the discovery table or run the sql

select * from discovery

And there is a field for username and password for each target.

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