How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor from ESXi 6.x to 6.5.0a

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 3 2017 (updated on Feb 18 2017) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HowTo
  • HomeLab
  • VMware Release Notes for ESXi 6.5.0a | 02 FEB 2017 | ISO Build 4887370

    What's New
    This release of ESXi 6.5.0a adds support for NSX 6.3.0. This release also delivers a bug fix that has been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

    As seen at bottom-right of the screenshot above, vSAN fixes too!


    Warning:
    vCenter/VCSA 6.x should be upgraded to 6.5.0a before upgrading your host(s) to ESXi 6.5.0a, see:

    All the background story on how this easy ESXCLI upgrade method came about was covered in my earlier articles:

    Benefits

    1. No new license needed to go from 6.0.x to 6.5.0a!
    2. Users of the free hypervisor and folks who can't download the GA Offline bundle now have a path forward as well, without needing to read TinkerTry's My VMware's "You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product." error, and what to do about it.

    Prerequisites

    Once you've completed ALL of the following preparation steps:

    1. upgraded to VCSA 6.5.0a
    2. ensured your ESXi 6.0.x host has a working internet connection
    3. reviewed the release notes
    4. reviewed How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor to ESXi 6.0 Update 2 for the full back story that includes some warnings about potential gotchas/driver issues
    5. backed up the ESXi 6.0 you've already got, using something like one of the home-lab-friendly techniques such as using USB Image Tools, as detailed by Florian Grehl here

    you can now safely continue with this simple approach to upgrading your lab environment. Unsupported, at your own risk, see the full disclaimer at below left.

    What's nice about this ESXCLI upgrade method is that its super simple and you don't have to worry about requesting a trial to be able to log into My VMware to download your ESXi 6.5.0a ISO:

    Name: VMware-VMvisor-Installer-201701001-4887370.x86_64.iso
    Release Date: 2017-02-02
    Build Number: 4887370

    Upgrade

    Download and upgrade to 6.5.0a using the patch directly from the VMware Online Depot

    The entire process including reboot is usually well under 15 minutes. Triple-clicking on a line of code below highlights the whole thing, to right-click-copy into your clipboard:

    1. Open an SSH session (eg. PuTTY) to your ESXi 6.0.x server
      (if you forgot to enable SSH, here's how)
    2. Turn on maintenance mode, or ensure you've set your ESXi host to automatically gracefully shutdown all VMs upon host reboot, or shutdown all the VMs gracefully that you care about, including VCSA.
    3. Firewall allow outbound http requests - Paste the one line below into into your SSH session, then press enter:
      esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient

      More details about the firewall here.

    4. Pull down ESXi Image Profile using https and run patch script - Paste the line below into into your SSH session, then hit enter and wait while nothing seems to happen, taking somewhere between roughly 3 to 10 minutes before the completion screen (sample below) appears:
      esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170104001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

      Wait time depending mostly on the the speed of the ESXi's connection to the internet, and a little on the speed of the storage media that ESXi is installed on.

    5. Firewall disallow outbound http requests - Paste the line below into into your SSH session:
      esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
    6. If you turned on maintenance mode earlier, remember to turn maintenance mode off.
    7. If you normally leave SSH access off, go ahead and disable it now.
    8. Type reboot and hit return (to restart your ESXi server), or use your favorite ESXi UI to restart the host.
    9. After the reboot is done, it would be a good idea to test login using ESXi host client, pointing your browser to the IP or hostname of your just-graded server, to be sure everthing seems to be working right.

    You're done!

    Special thanks to VMware ESXi Patch Tracker by Andreas Peetz at the VMware Front Experience Blog. This upgrade test was performed on a TinkerTry'd VMware HCL system. Yes, on both the very popular 8 core and the rather special 12 core version of the beloved Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T system.

    esxcli-update-successful-6-5-0a-putty-session-2017-Feb-04
    Here's how my upgrade from 6.5 build 4564106 to 6.5.0a build 4887370 looked, right after the 3 minute download/patch.
    DCUI-showing-6.5.0a-TinkerTry-2017-Feb-04
    Yep, it worked! This is called the DCUI, using Supermicro's iKVM HTML5 UI to show you what my console looked like after the patch & reboot.
    ESXi-host-client-6.5.0a-full-length-TinkerTry-2017-Feb-04
    ESXi Host client view of build 4887370.

    That's it! When the reboot is complete, you'll see for yourself that you now have the latest ESXi, Build 4887370, as pictured above. Now you have more spare time to read more TinkerTry articles!

    Depending upon your ESXi firewall configuration, if the above command results in a network related error such as:
    'NoneType' object has no attribute 'close'
    then you skipped the firewall configuration step above, try again!

    Closing Thoughts

    Alternatively, you could have used VMware Update Manager on a Windows system or VM, but for one-off upgrades typical in a small home lab, pasting these 3 lines of code is pretty darn easy.

    Looking ahead, since VUM is now built into VCSA 6.5, this will add another way to do future upgrades and patches, even in a small home lab environment.

    Potential SATA and Realtek NIC gotchas

    If you find some of your SATA/AHCI datastores disappear from view after this upgrade, worry not, the VMFS datastores are still there, you just can't see them. This article should still save you:

    Video

    How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor to ESXi 6.5.0a

    Feb 04 2017 Update 12:00pm EST

    Article screenshots updated and clarified, with new video now published too. Off to family birthday parties I go, this fine winter's Saturday!


    Feb 18 2017 Update

    Below, commenter Diego González Espinilla reported this error:

    [MetadataDownloadError]
    Could not download from depot at https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml, skipping (('https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml'', 'file not found'))
    url = https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
    Please refer to the log file for more details.

    What's the fix? He had a DNS configuration problem, so likely his ESXi host simply couldn't get to the internet. see also Unable to update the latest patch for ESXi 6 Server.


    See also at TinkerTry

    VMware vSphere 6.5 taskbar shortcuts can make your Chrome browser UIs look like native Windows apps!

    See also


    Upgrade Log

    Below, I've pasted the full text of my upgrade, helps you see what drivers were touched, use the horizonal scroll bar or shift + mousewheel to look around, Ctrl+F works as needed too:

    [root@xd-1567-5028d:~] esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170104001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
    
    Update 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_6.5.0-0.9.4887370, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.5.0-0.9.4887370, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.5.0-0.9.4887370
       VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_esx-base_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.5.0-0.0.4564106
       VIBs Skipped: VMW_bootbank_ata-libata-92_3.00.9.2-16vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-amd_0.3.10-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-atiixp_0.4.6-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-cmd64x_0.2.5-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-hpt3x2n_0.3.4-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-pdc2027x_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-serverworks_0.4.3-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-sil680_0.4.8-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-via_0.3.3-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_block-cciss_3.6.14-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_char-random_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ehci-ehci-hcd_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_elxnet_11.1.91.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_hid-hid_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_i40en_1.1.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_igbn_0.1.0.0-12vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ima-qla4xxx_2.02.18-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-devintf_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-msghandler_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-si-drv_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ixgben_1.0.0.0-8vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lpfc_11.1.0.6-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-mr3_6.910.18.00-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt2_20.00.01.00-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt3_12.00.02.00-11vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_misc-cnic-register_1.78.75.v60.7-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_misc-drivers_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_mtip32xx-native_3.9.5-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ne1000_0.8.0-9vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nenic_1.0.0.2-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2_2.2.4f.v60.10-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2x_1.78.80.v60.12-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-cdc-ether_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-cnic_1.78.76.v60.13-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000_8.0.3.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000e_3.2.2.1-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-enic_2.1.2.38-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-fcoe_1.0.29.9.3-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-forcedeth_0.61-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-igb_5.0.5.1.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-ixgbe_3.7.13.7.14iov-20vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-libfcoe-92_1.0.24.9.4-8vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-core_1.9.7.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-en_1.9.7.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-nx-nic_5.0.621-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-tg3_3.131d.v60.4-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-usbnet_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-vmxnet3_1.1.3.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nhpsa_2.0.6-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-core_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-en_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-rdma_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx5-core_4.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ntg3_4.1.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.0.32-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nvmxnet3_2.0.0.22-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ohci-usb-ohci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_pvscsi_0.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qedentv_2.0.3.29-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qfle3_1.0.2.7-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qflge_1.1.0.3-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qlnativefc_2.1.30.0-11vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-ahci_3.0-22vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-ata-piix_2.12-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-nv_3.5-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-promise_2.12-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil24_1.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil_2.3-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-svw_2.3-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aacraid_1.1.5.1-9vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-adp94xx_1.0.8.12-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aic79xx_3.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2fc_1.78.78.v60.8-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2i_2.78.76.v60.8-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-fnic_1.5.0.45-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-hpsa_6.0.0.84-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-ips_7.12.05-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-iscsi-linux-92_1.0.0.2-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-libfc-92_1.0.40.9.3-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-mbox_2.20.5.1-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-sas_6.603.55.00-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid2_2.00.4-9vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mpt2sas_19.00.00.00-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptsas_4.23.01.00-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptspi_4.23.01.00-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-qla4xxx_5.01.03.2-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-3-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_uhci-usb-uhci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_usb-storage-usb-storage_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_usbcore-usb_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkata_0.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkplexer-vmkplexer_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkusb_0.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmw-ahci_1.0.0-32vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_xhci-xhci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_cpu-microcode_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_emulex-esx-elxnetcli_11.1.28.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-dvfilter-generic-fastpath_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-tboot_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.8.0-4516221, VMware_bootbank_esx-xserver_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-hp-hpsa-plugin_2.0.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-mr3-plugin_1.0.0-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-msgpt3-plugin_1.0.0-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin_1.0.0-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin_2.0.0-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_native-misc-drivers_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_rste_2.0.2.0088-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_vmware-esx-esxcli-nvme-plugin_1.2.0.10-0.0.4564106, VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.0.4564106
    [root@xd-1567-5028d:~]
    [root@xd-1567-5028d:~] reboot