Theodore Baschak

Routing Guru. IPv6 Advocate. Operator of Hextet Systems (AS395089).

Manually Patching ESXi (5.5)

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:30:59 -0500 » Nerd Projects, CLI, Security, Virtualization, System Administration » Estimated read time: 1 min

I’ve been running the free version of ESXi in my basement for years, and have been well served by it. One of the things that is always somewhat of a pain is patching. I was always under the impression that to patch the free version of ESXi you needed to download the patches, and transfer them to a VMFS volume, then patch that bundle. A great blog VMware Front Experience posted an article about manually patching your ESXi 5.5 host which is just fantastic.

They have also posted a blog about how to patch the latest 5.5u1 bundle.

# open firewall for outgoing http requests:
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
# Install the ESXi-5.5.0-20140604001-standard Imageprofile from the VMware Online depot
esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-20140604001-standard
# Reboot your host
reboot

This command can be modified for any new bundles, the KB lists the package name.

When you go to run this set of commands on a system, it will sit there for several minutes. Keep in mind the patch bundle is 300+MB, downloading it, installing it, etc. This all takes time. Especially on a slower internet connection. Using this command recently, on newly deployed VM hosts, saved several reboots (and much time) later on.