I am currently in the process of collecting the several pieces I need for my next lab upgrade (shared storage for my ESXi hosts) and as part of my preparation I needed to upgrade my hosts to the latest version of ESXi. I spent about 45 minutes reading through all of the documentation on upgrading and then attempting to find the upgrade tool mentioned in VMware documentation. Through my search I discovered a very simple way to upgrade 5.x
- Download the update zip from VMware.
- Upload the update image to a Datastore on the host with the following steps:
- Once uploaded, turn down all VMs and put the host into maintenance mode.
- SSH to the ESXi host (may require SSH to be turned on) and enter the following command:
esxcli software vib install -d /UPDATE_LOCATION/UPDATE_NAME.zip
- After the upgrade finishes you will see a similar screen:
- Once your host finishes booting you are all set and ready to turn up your VMs (don’t forget to exit maintenance mode)!
I was able to use this method to upgrade my 5.1 host and my 5.5U1 host to 5.5U2 in a manner of minutes (the 5.1 host took a little longer to come back after the reboot, just give it time).
As always, test before implanting anything in production, make proper backups, verify upgrade paths, etc.