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VMWare ESX CHAP password recovery January 20, 2012

Posted by jamesisaac in Uncategorized.
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2 comments

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!

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003095

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.