If you have an existing standalone ESXi 5.0 or 5.1 server that is not managed by vCenter and you don’t have Update Manager and the other cool tools for handling upgrades and stuff, here’s a quick method that will do the trick (hat tip to Virtually Ghetto). I just used this to bring my home Mini (v5.3) up to 5.5 to fix a couple of issues with the caching server on an OS X Server VM.
Assuming that your machine has internet connectivity you should be able to upgrade directly from VMware’s online depot.
You’ll need to enable ssh or do this from the console. In either case, there’s practically no feedback though so be prepared to be flying a little blind during the actual upgrade process.
You’ll also need to open the http Client firewall rule, either from the VI-Client or the command line:
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
To check for available 5.5 images, you can query the depot with:
esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
I added a “| grep 5.5” at the end to filter down to just the current release, noting that the list comes back unordered so filtering is useful. This gave me back the following list:
ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-no-tools VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported ESXi-5.5.0-20131204001-no-tools VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported ESXi-5.5.0-20131204001-standard VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported ESXi-5.5.0-20131201001s-standard VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported ESXi-5.5.0-20131201001s-no-tools VMware, Inc. PartnerSupported
Then I manually shut down all of my running VMs (doing the vCenter Appliance last of course). I chose the latest version to get things as up to date as possible so the upgrade command is:
esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-20131201001s-standard
And then you wait a while for it to download and apply the upgrade, followed a reboot command. Once the server came back online, I was cut off from my NFS datastores that were connected via a Thunderbolt/Ethernet adaptor.
esxcli storage nfs list Volume Name Host Share Accessible Mounted Read-Only Hardware Acceleration ----------- --------------- ----------------- ---------- ------- --------- --------------------- prod-a 192.168.100.200 /azzalle/prod-a false false false Unknown prod-b 192.168.100.200 /azzalle/prod-b false false false Unknown test 192.168.100.200 /azzalle/test false false false Unknown
So I applied the vib kindly provided by Virtually Ghetto.
For some reason that didn’t fix the NFS mounts right away, but rebooting once more brought everything back online, including the autobooted VMs.
A painless method for little labs and standalone machines that can be done entirely over ssh.
Now I’m off to upgrade all of my VMtools.