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On a remote server I need to type exit to leave a certain mode but unfortunately the exit is picked up by ssh and treated as an instruction to end the shh session.

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What "certain mode" are you talking about? – slhck Jan 2 '13 at 12:28
I am trying to leave VMWare Tech Support Mode which requires you to type exit – zzapper Jan 2 '13 at 12:36
:) What was happening here was when I typed exit I was exiting the linux shell, therefore I was naturally kicked out of shh. – zzapper Jan 19 '13 at 17:20

The instructions that you see to exit from VMWare Tech Support Mode is probably meant for console access. For example Tech Support Mode for Emergency Support:

  1. Log in to your ESXi host at the console.
  2. Press Alt+F1 to switch to the console window.
  3. Enter unsupported to start the Tech Support Mode login process. Note that no text will appear on the console window.
  4. Enter the password for the root user. Tech Support Mode is now active.
  5. Complete tasks in Tech Support Mode.
  6. Enter the command clear to clear the screen of any residual data from step 5. This may be required by your local security policies.
  7. Enter the command exit to exit Tech Support Mode.
  8. Press Alt+F2 to return the server to DCUI mode.

In other words, your SSH / shell session is the Tech Support Mode itself. Once you have exited from the Tech Support Mode, your SSH / shell session will terminate as well

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When I ssh back in I am still in Tech Mode does that mean tech mode is the default connection? – zzapper Jan 2 '13 at 16:40
By right the Tech Mode is terminated. How can you tell that you are still in Tech Mode when you ssh back again? I am referring to the manual at (…) – hanxue Jan 2 '13 at 16:51
Because it tells me 'Tech Support Mode successfully accessed'. I will try exiting physically at the remote server and then report back. – zzapper Jan 2 '13 at 16:56
Sorry, I do not have access to any VMWare products now and could not help you further. Can I suggest you to obtain help directly from VMWare support? – hanxue Jan 2 '13 at 17:12

I'm not sure how you could do it efficiently, but you could use tmux to split the current session into two panes and then use one pane to run what ever it is you wanted to run, and use the other to pkill it when done.

Or if you're already in the mode, SSH in again.

Check and see if the "mode" you're in has any other ways to exit, eg; shortcut, another command etcetera.

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