Using WinSCP with vCenter Server Appliance

Sometimes it’s necesary to exchange files with the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). Secure Copy Protocol is the tool of choice to do that job. Besides CLI commands there are handy programs like WinSCP.

While trying to establish a WinSCP connection to VCSA I’ve received communication errors. Whereas SSH connection worked without problems.

The problem is that WinSCP cannot use VCSA’s default shell as communication target. You have to switch default shell first before connecting. To do so, login to VCSA with SSH and activate Bash.


shell.set --enable True

Change from appliance shell to bash shell.


Set bash as default shell.

chsh -s /bin/bash root

Now you can connect to VCSA with WinSCP. When you’re finished with up- and downloads you may switch back to default and set appliance shell as default again.

chsh -s /bin/appliancesh root


VMware KB 2107727Error when uploading files to vCenter Server Appliance using WinSCP

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