Upgrading ESXI 5.1 to 5.5 – The Shell Way

vSphere 5.5 was released on the 22nd of September and I thought it would be a great time to test out the upgrade/update from the command line.

Connect to the Shell using your preferred Terminal tool (putty).

Before going a head with this I would check that the update has all the required VIB’s for your host. some may not included in the standard version.

It is also recommended that you disable any SAN connections \ Unplug  ( Thanks Bhargav for mentioning this “http://www.bhargavs.com/“)

Firstly check what version of ESXI you are running by the following cmd:

verison of esx

~ # VMware -l
 As you can see from the screenshot, I have already upgraded to 5.5
Check that you are running 5.1… now for the upgrade
you will need to enable the httpclient if you haven’t already done so:
~ # esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
~ # esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard
 this process will take a while as the update files will be downloading…
To check the progress, run the following cmd:
~ # tail -f /var/log/esxupdate.log
 Once everything is complete, restart your host and then check the version.
There you have it .. Quick way to upgrade you ESXi host.

10 thoughts on “Upgrading ESXI 5.1 to 5.5 – The Shell Way

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  1. Thank you for the quick how to guide, this was a much faster approach when updating a large cluster vs a single node.

  2. If I new upgrading could be this easy I would have done it earlier. Why isnt this in any of the VMware upgrade documents? (or didnt I read them?)
    One warning though. After upgrading and restart, I got a strange bug that listed every virtual server multiple times in the “automatic startup/shutdown” list. This was resolved by another restart. I did a bug report to VMware and they said that they should take a look at the problem.

      1. I have a support case with VMware, but they are unable to replicate the problem.
        After upgrading from 5.1 to 5.5, using this guide, when I change a value for the “automatic start/stop virtual machines”, after going back to the main menu, all virtual machines have multiplied. If you click another menu and back again everything is back to normal until you change a value again. It seems to be a GUI only bug, but it is a but frustrating when VMware cannot replicate and they want me to install 5.1 again, export all logs and then upgrade to 5.5 and export logs.

        Here are links to two screenshots:

        The screenshots are from my test server, but the other two VMware servers have the same problem after upgrading.

      2. Not yet. What would like to do is to install our fourth server not yet set up so that I can install 5.1, export the logs for VMware and then make an “online upgrade”, if the problems remain, export logs for VMware. Then reinstall 5.1 and perform an ISO upgrade to see the difference.
        The “only” problem for me right now is time. This is at least a days work with all physical server slow boot times etc.

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