Mr. Duncan Epping had an interesting post about removing the ESXi welcome screen and while reading the comments, I noticed Maish's comment regarding another method of removing the ESXi welcome screen along with other services.
There is however, another method if you would like to walk down the fine line of unsupported ... which is fine since both methods described from above are through the means of editing files within the ESXi installer or in the unsupported Buysbox console.
I wanted to share a 3rd method that doesn't require editing files from the installer or using the Busybox console and restarting any services.
Here are the steps:
1. Here is a screen shot of ESXi 4.0 welcome screen
2. Point your browser over to the host's MOB (Managed Object Broswer)
3. Now insert this into the URL with your hostname:
This basically invokes the undocumented and hidden InternalContent and to execute the method, click on Invoke Method
4. Now you'll want to click on ha-proxy-service and you'll be brought to a screen which lists the various proxy end points. If you click into endpointList list, you'll see the first entry is for "/" which is for the index.html redirect for the welcome screen. We're basically going to remove this endpoint
5. Go back out to the main page of ha-proxy-service and click on RemoveEndpoint method and you'll get a pop up
6. No insert the following into the text box:
<endpoint xsi:type="ProxyServiceEndpointSpec"> <serverNamespace>/</serverNamespace> <accessMode>httpsWithRedirect</accessMode> </endpoint>
and then click Invoke Method which will then remove this endpoint and you'll see Method Invocation Result: void on the screen as the method does not return a value
7. Now if you point your browser back to ESXi host, you'll see that now you get a 404 error and the welcome screen is no longer available. This is also true for /ui and datastore browsing and host which is now also inaccessible but you still have access to the MOB URL and SDK which allows you to remotely manage your host using the APIs
Note: You should make a backup of your ESXi configuration ( esxcfg-cfgbackup ) before attempting this in case you run into any oddities.