Steps to configure security banner or welcome message for ESXi host

Similar to Windows machines, you can create banner for VMware vSphere ESXi host. As soon as administrator access ESXi DCUI console, it will show the configured banner message.

Steps are as follows to configure ESXi welcome message are as follows:
- Log in to the ESXi host from the vSphere Client.

- Navigate to the host and click on Configuration tab, then select Advanced Settings.

- From the Advanced Settings window, select first option i.e. Annotations.

- Enter the message as per your organization requirement like Welcome to XXXX and access to restrict to XXX technical staff only.

Alternative way to configure welcome message on ESXi host is via command prompt

- Putty to ESXi host and enter following command

# esxcli system welcomemsg set -m="your message"

- To check the current message, enter following command

# esxcli system welcomemsg get

As soon as you configure the annotation/ security banner/ welcome message and access the ESXi DCUI  console, you can’t see any option or F2 to manage or login to the ESXi host similar to following screenshot. First I am surprised and spent some time to figure out how to deal with this :-)
ESXi banner- F2 missing

The solution I found is simply press F2 and ESXi host will prompt you to enter user name and password.

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