Recently I’ve replaced my server at home with a new one.
I installed ESXi on a USB stick and enabled the SSH as described here

Then updated it via vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0.
After rebooting ESXi the SSH server wasn’t working. Doing less /etc/inetd.conf revealed that the SSH server was reset to default (turned off).

Googling this, it seems that ESXi now tries to set the defaults on various things when rebooting. I’ve resolved this by replacing the original oem.tgz file with a customized version witch have SSH and FTP enabled by default.

This excellent page have diffrent oem.tgz files.

I did this:

  1. Downloaded SSH and FTP oem.tgz from http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php

  2. Upload the file to the datastore

VPN Image 01

  1. At the console press ALT+F1 and type “unsupported” and press ENTER key. Type the password.

  2. Type cp /vmfs/volumes/[your datastore name]/[path to oem.tgz file] /bootbank/oem.tgz

  3. Restart ESXi server.

  4. Done!

Source: vm-help.com