Tag Archives: Nutanix


Nutanix Password Management

As more and more Nutanix is deployed out there, it’s useful to have some basic information about managing and maintaining it readily available.  Today, I want to talk about Nutanix password management to ensure to help people know what important user accounts and passwords there are, and how to change those passwords.  This is important because you generally do not want default passwords set within your environment.  Changing default account passwords is the same best practice you’ll find for any other technology.

Nutanix Password Management – Introduction

Within a Nutanix environment, there are several types of accounts to be aware of.  These accounts are:

  • Nutanix Cluster Accounts – This is the account used to login to Prism, as well as command line utilities such as ncli and PowerShell to manage cluster wide settings, such as container management, cluster health, alerts, etc. for Nutanix Acropolis.  Think storage management and heath mainly here.
  • Nutanix Controller VM – this is a local account within each Nutanix Controller virtual machine running on each hypervisor host.  This account is mainly used for troubleshooting and low level command line type actions.  Generally speaking, you will likely not use this without the direction of an advanced Nutanix resource or Nutanix support.
  • Nutanix node IPMI – These are accounts stored within the IPMI out of band management interfaces on each Nutanix node.  This account is used for imaging your Nutanix nodes with your hypervisor of choice, and for things like remote console access, power cycling the hypervisor host if you’re having problems, etc.
  • Hypervisor accounts – these are the local administrator accounts within your hypervisor of choice.  Think root for vmware, local Administrator for Hyper-V.

It’s important to secure these accounts properly.  That includes changing them regularly, using complex passwords, etc.

Nutanix Password Management – Default Accounts

The following are the default accounts and their passwords for each.  This can be helpful for deployments, but also to verify if your Nutanix environment is using the default passwords.

  • Nutanix Cluster Account:
    • User:  Admin (Note the capital “A”!)
    • Password: nutanix/4u
  • Nutanix Controller VM:
    • User:  nutanix
    • Password: nutanix/4u
  • Nutanix node IPMI:
    • Nutanix hardware
      • User:  ADMIN (Note the capital “A”!)
      • Password: ADMIN
    • Dell hardware
      • User: root
      • Password: calvin
  • Hypervisor accounts:
    • ESXi:
      • User: root
      • Password: nutanix/4u
    • Acropolis Hypervisor (Nutanix’s version of KVM):
      • User: root
      • Password: nutanix/4u

Nutanix Password Management – Changing Nutanix Cluster Account Password

This one is pretty straightforward.  Simply login to prism as Admin and click to change the password under Settings (Gear symbol) > Change Password.

nutanix password management prismrwunix-hq Hypervisor Summary 2 HYPERVISORS Storage Summary Home 4 Hæts Cluster-wide Controller IOPS In lops 1200 Cluster-wide Controller 10 B/W O lops O KBPS Health Disks GOOD Admin Change Password Update Profile Download Cmdlets Installer Download nCLl Download Prism Central REST API Explorer

Nutanix Password Management – Changing Nutanix Controller VM Password

This one is a little more complex.  Here are the steps if you’re using ESXi:

  1. First, SSH into ESXi host.
  2. Next, SSH into controller from the ESXi server with the following command: ssh nutanix@
  3. After that, run the following command: allssh passwd
  4. Lastly, enter in current and new passwords as it cycles through each controller VM in the cluster.

Here’s a sample output:
[root@NTNX-16SM6B123456-A:~] ssh nutanix@
Nutanix Controller VM
nutanix@’s password:
Last login: Thu Nov 3 11:10:47 PDT 2016 from on ssh
Last login: Thu Nov 3 11:11:02 2016 from
nutanix@NTNX-16SM6B123456-A-CVM:$ allssh passwd
Executing passwd on the cluster
================== =================
Changing password for user nutanix.
Changing password for nutanix.
(current) UNIX password:
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
Connection to closed.
================== =================
Changing password for user nutanix.
Changing password for nutanix.
(current) UNIX password:
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
Connection to closed.

(This continues through the entire cluster)

Most of all, be sure it shows a successful operation for each node.

Nutanix Password Management – Changing Nutanix Node IPMI Account Password

This can be accomplished two ways.  To change the ADMIN account within the GUI:

  1. First, login to the IPMI interface using a web browser.
  2. Next, click Configuration > Users.nutanix password management ipmi
  3. Now, click the ADMIN account user, click Modify User, and follow the rest of the prompts.nutanix password management 2

You can also change the password via SSH on your ESXi servers.  This is particularly useful when you do not know your IPMI account credentials.

  1.  First, SSH into your ESXi server.
  2. Next, find the user ID of the account by running /ipmitool user list
  3. Finally, use the following command to change the password: /ipmitool user set password <userid> <CoolNewPassword>

Also, you can do this with other hypervisors as well.

Nutanix Password Management – Changing Nutanix Node Hypervisor Account Password

To change the default account password for your hypervisor, you simply conduct this with your password change method of choice for that hypervisor.

For ESXi, you can use passwd, the vSphere Thick Client, or even PowerCLI.  Here’s a PowerCLI script I made to change the root password on ESXi servers.

$username = 'root'
$newpassword = 'N3wP@ssw0rd'
$oldpassword = 'nutanix/4u'
$vmhosts = 31..34 | ForEach-Object {"192.168.10." + $_}
foreach ($vmhost in $vmhosts){
connect-viserver $vmhost -User $username -Password $oldpassword
Set-VMHostAccount –UserAccount $username –Password $newpassword
disconnect-viserver -Confirm:$false

Nutanix Password Management – Best Practices

To keep things simple, it is recommended to use the same hypervisor password on each host.  Also, while not required, it is recommended to set the controller VM and Prism passwords the same, again for simplicity.  You don’t have to.

Hopefully, this allows you to more easily management passwords within your Nutanix environment!

Nutanix administration do’s and don’ts

As a virtualization consultant, I know there’s a wide variety of technologies at every level – hypervisor, storage, networking, and even server hardware is getting to some degree more complex in terms of what you need to know to manage it effectively.  Everyone can’t be an expert in every single storage technology as an example, and with more and more options that are radically different in their architecture, right now I wanted to make my own little contribution to the world for consultants and admins alike on basic things you should and shouldn’t do with one storage solution – Nutanix.  For us consultants, we often find ourselves within environments with something we’re not totally familiar with, so some helpful concise guidance can go a long way.  Admins, too, may have depended upon a consultant or previous colleagues that no longer work there for implementation and support, but now it’s on them, so I thought this would be helpful.

There are quite a few things everyone should know if they ever are working on a environment with Nutanix that aren’t necessarily obvious.  I can see it being pretty darn easy to blow up a Nutanix environment if you’re not aware of some of these things.

Common stuff

  • Contact Nutanix Support before downgrading licensing or destroying cluster to reclaim licenses (unnecessary if you’re using Starter licensing though). This was repeated many times, so I’m guessing if this isn’t done, you’ll be hating life getting licensing straight.
  • Do NOT delete the Nutanix Controller VM on any Nutanix host (CVM names look like: NTNX-<blockid>-<position>-CVM)
  • Do NOT modify any settings of a Controller VM, all the way down to even the name of the VM.
  • Shutdown/Startup gotchas:
    • It’s probably best to never shutdown/reboot/etc. more than one Nutanix node in a cluster at a time. If you do more, you may cause all hosts in the Nutanix cluster to lose storage connectivity.
    • When shutting down a single host or < the redundancy factor (Nutanix number of hosts it is configured to tolerate failure in a Nutanix cluster), migrate/shutdown all VMs on host EXCEPT the controller VM, THEN shutdown the controller VM.
    • If you are shutting down a number of hosts that exceeds the redundancy factor, you need to shutdown the Nutanix cluster. There’s also a specialized procedure to start up the Nutanix cluster in this situation.  That’s beyond the scope of this email.
    • When booting up a host, do the following:
      • start the Controller VM first that resides on it, and verify it’s services are working by SSH to it using:
        • Ncli cluster status | grep –A 15 <controllerVmIP>
      • Then have it rescan its datastores.
      • Then verify the Nutanix Cluster state using the following to ensure cluster services are all up via same SSH session:
        • cluster status
  • Hypervisor Patching
    • Make sure to patch one hypervisor node and ensure Controller VM comes back up with services are good before proceeding to the next one. Also do one at a time in a Nutanix cluster (see above).
    • Follow shutdown host procedure above.


  • NEVER use “Reset System Configuration” command in Nutanix.
  • If resource pools are created, Controller VM (CVM) must have the highest share.
  • Do NOT modify NFS settings.
  • VM swapfile location should be the same folder as the VM. Do NOT place it on a dedicated datastore.
  • Do NOT modify the Controller VM startup/shutdown order.
  • Do NOT modify iSCSI software adapter settings.
  • Do NOT modify vSwitchNutanix standard vSwitch.
  • Do NOT modify Vmk0 interface in port group “Management Network”.
  • Do NOT disable ESXi host SSH.
  • HA configuration recommended settings:
    • Enable admission control and use percentage based policy with value based on number of nodes in cluster
    • Set VM Restart Priority for CVMs to Disabled.
    • Set Host Isolation Response of cluster to Power Off
    • Set Host Isolation Response of CVMs to Leave Powered ON.
    • Disable VM Monitoring for all CVMs
    • Enable Datastore Heartbeating by clicking Select only from my preferred datastores and choosing Nutanix datastores. If cluster has only one datastore (which would be common potentially in Nutanix deployments), add advanced option das.ignoreInsufficientHbDatastore=true to avoid warnings about not having at least two heartbeat datastores.
  • DRS stuff:
    • Disable automation of all CVMs
    • Leave power management disabled (DPM)
  • Enable EVC for lowest processor class in cluster.


  • Do NOT use Validate Cluster within Failover Clustering nor SCVMM, as it is not supported. Not sure what would happen if you did, but I’m guessing it would be pretty awesome, and you probably should make sure you got popcorn ready if you’re gonna do that.
  • Do NOT modify the Nutanix or Hyper-V cluster name
  • Do NOT modify the external network adapter name
  • Do NOT modify the Nutanix specific virtual switch settings

KVM (the Hypervisor… also assuming this means if you’re using Acropolis Hypervisor from Nutanix since it’s KVM based…)

  • Do NOT modify the Hypervisor configuration, including installed packages
  • Do NOT modify iSCSI settings
  • Do NOT modify the Open vSwitch settings

I hope this proves helpful to people who unexpectedly find themselves working on Nutanix and need a quick primer to ensure they don’t break something!