I wanted to document this real quick as I keep having to do this in my home lab on a semi-regular basis. Since I only have a single physical server, and I use the vCenter appliance, I have no vSphere Update Manager installed for this one physical box. I do use it for all my nested vSphere ESXi machines in the rest of the lab, but I do need to update the physical one on occasion. Many of you may have run into this in the past that it is a bit of a pain since the new tools including the Remote Command Line do not support a direct “Upload” of a patch file to ESXi. With that here is the most basic and simple way I found to handle the process. Since vSphere ESXi 5.0 uses the new VIB model the commands and process have changed slightly but the basic concepts are the same.
- Download the patch file you want directly from the VMware Patch Portal
- Ensure that you enable SSH for remote support on the ESXi Host
- Make sure your host is in Maintenance Mode, this is a requirement since you will need to reboot
- Transfer the update file over to the host using FileZilla or SCP to a MOUNTED DATASTORE of some kind. NOTE: There is not enough space to transfer this to a location on the local ESXi Image. It took me a bit to realize this was failing to copy.
- Once you have uploaded the file to a datastore, this is considered a “Local Depot Repository” as opposed to one on FTP or HTTP.
Now that the file has been transferred to a datastore you can patch a single host or multiple hosts that are mounted to that datastore either with the local tools via SSH remote support mode, or the Remote Command Line Tools using the esxcli commands. I am sure there is also a PowerCLI option as well I just have not tried it, but Justin Guidroz has posted a way to do so on his blog so check it out if you are a PowerCLI user.
NOTE: If you try and use the old esxupdate command, which by the way is still there, you get this message:
~ # esxupdate Usage: This program is not meant to be used directly. Please use esxcli image/software instead. esxupdate: error: Command must be specified Usage: This program is not meant to be used directly. Please use esxcli image/software instead.
The esxcli commands are also available in the remote command line but when you run them you will see you cannot “upload” directly which is why you may just want to run them locally. It is also worth pointing out that esxcli “Image” is not a valid command. The correct syntax will be something like this. If you are using the Remote Command Line you will also need to specify the server and login credentials. The syntax below without those is for the local SSH versions.
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/[PATCH_FILE].zip
Once the patch is run you should see a result like this:
Installation Result Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective. Reboot Required: true VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_esx-base_5.0.0-0.4.504890 VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_esx-base_5.0.0-0.3.474610 VIBs Skipped: VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-amd_0.3.10-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-atiixp_0.4.6-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-cmd64x_0.2.5-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-hpt3x2n_0.3.4-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-pdc2027x_1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-serverworks_0.4.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-sil680_0.4.8-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ata-pata-via_0.3.3-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_block-cciss_3.6.14-10vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ehci-ehci-hcd_1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_esx-tboot_5.0.0-0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ima-qla4xxx_2.01.07-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-devintf_39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-msghandler_39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-si-drv_39.1-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_misc-cnic-register_1.1-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_misc-drivers_5.0.0-0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-be2net_220.127.116.11-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-bnx2_2.0.15g.v50.11-5vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-bnx2x_1.61.15.v50.1-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-cnic_1.10.2j.v50.7-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-e1000_18.104.22.168-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-e1000e_1.1.2-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-enic_22.214.171.124a-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-forcedeth_0.61-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-igb_126.96.36.199-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-ixgbe_188.8.131.52.2-10vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-nx-nic_4.0.557-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-r8169_6.011.00-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-s2io_184.108.40.20627-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-sky2_1.20-2vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_net-tg3_3.110h.v50.4-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_ohci-usb-ohci_1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-ahci_3.0-6vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-ata-piix_2.12-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-sata-nv_3.5-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-sata-promise_2.12-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-sata-sil_2.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_sata-sata-svw_2.3-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-aacraid_220.127.116.11-9vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-adp94xx_18.104.22.168-6vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-aic79xx_3.1-5vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-bnx2i_1.9.1d.v50.1-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-fnic_22.214.171.124-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-hpsa_5.0.0-17vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-ips_7.12.05-4vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-lpfc820_126.96.36.199-18vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-mbox_188.8.131.52-6vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-sas_4.32-1vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-megaraid2_2.00.4-9vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-mpt2sas_06.00.00.00-5vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-mptsas_4.23.01.00-5vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-mptspi_4.23.01.00-5vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-qla2xxx_901.k1.1-14vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_scsi-qla4xxx_5.01.03.2-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_bootbank_uhci-usb-uhci_1.0-3vmw.500.0.0.469512, VMware_locker_tools-light_5.0.0-0.3.474610
Now you can reboot your system and it should have the latest version of the ESXi firmware and tools installed. Not too hard, but getting the syntax and the file location is a bit tricky. You can also now delete the patch file from the datastore. I hope this helps a few people with small home labs out or folks that need to apply specific VIB patches to their hosts without Update Manager.