How to Send Files to Your ESXi Datastore using SFTP

I recently came across an issue where I had a large ISO I needed to upload to an ESXi Datastore.

Normally uploading the file through the Web GUI should work right? Nope.

For some reason either the file upload would hang after a specific percentage, or would not start at all. The behaviour was similar in every browser I could get a hand of. (In fact this might be a good time to note that IE has a maximum upload file size of 4GB, so that didn’t work for its own reason).

The upload issue seemed like an obvious bug, but I wanted a short term solution to upload the file to the Datastore.

I came across a suggestion online to SFTP to the ESXi Host and place the file manually. This sounded like the perfect workaround for the bug I was experiencing.

Here’s how to do it.

Enable SSH Access on ESXi

First thing you need to do is enable SSH access to your ESXi server. This can be done from the Host > Actions menu.

ESXi SSH.png

Once done, we should be able to connect using the SFTP of your choice, remember to use the Administrator login.

Copy Files Over via SFTP

Just when you thought it couldnt get any simpler, now we have just have to copy over the ISOs/files we want to transfer via SFTP.

The location of the datastore where we import your files into is:


In this directory you should see a shortcut to a folder with the name of your datastore, once you enter that you should see the same files and folders you see via the GUI.

Happy copying!



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