WARNING: Error initializing default drive - WinSSHd / OpenSSH


When using winSSHd as your Microsoft Endpoint connection method on a jump server, you receive a message similar to the following:

The below error was from the Microsoft AD Module, however, a similar error will be displayed for Microsoft IPAM, Microsoft DNS and potentially Lifecycle toolkit when you run scripts against a remote host.

VALUE : RemoterResponse{exitCode=1, stdout='WARNING: Error initializing default drive: 'Unable to contact the server. This may be because this server does not exist, it is currently down, or it does not have the Active Directory Web Services running.'. ERROR: OU OU=computers,OU=builds,,DC=domain,DC=name does not exist and CreateOU is not enabled. Exiting. ', stderr='Could not chdir to home directory /home/<ServiceAccountName: No such file or directory '}


We have so far found 2 causes for this error

  • OpenSSH Service is not started and running on your server
  • OpenSSH is not installed on the server

Affected Versions

  • All as this relates to OpenSSH configuration on your Windows Host

Workaround or Solution


The below will provide you with links and/or steps on resolving the issue

Installing OpenSSH on your Windows Server

Windows Server 2019 account setup: (SovLabs KB)

Setup OpenSSH on Windows 2019 with SovLabs Microsoft Endpoint (SovLabs KB)

OpenSSH Install and First use (Microsoft KB)

OpenSSH Software for Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2 (Microsoft GitHub Repo)

NOTE:  Although this is available and can be installed/configured on older versions of Windows Server. We only validate functionality against Windows Server 2019 as OpenSSH is natively available on this platform


Checking your OpenSSH service is running

  1. Once you are logged into your Windows Server 2019 console, open your services console and look for OpenSSH SSH Server

  2. Under Status, ensure the service is set to Running and Startup Type is set to Automatic

  3. If the service is not running and/or the Startup Type is not Automatic.  Start the service and/or update the Startup Type

If you have issues with starting the service then please perform your troubleshooting and if required contact Microsoft to raise a support case.

Additional information

SovLabs Microsoft AD Module : http://docs.sovlabs.com/latest/vmware-vra7x-plugin/modules/platform-extensions/microsoft-ad/
SovLabs Microsoft DNS Module : http://docs.sovlabs.com/latest/vmware-vra7x-plugin/modules/dns/microsoft-dns/
SovLabs Microsoft IPAM Module : http://docs.sovlabs.com/latest/vmware-vra7x-plugin/modules/ipam/microsoft-ipam/

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