VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 1 Driver Rollup 2 Released Apr 24 2014

Posted by Paul Braren on May 3 2014 in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • I just discovered the quietly released bit of hypervisor newness, as I was trying to see how the Heartbleed vulnerability handling continues to evolve at VMware, and while trying to update my closely related:

    Download ESXi 5.5 Update 1 and the other vSphere Update 1a pieces to get your home lab started.

    So you start by logging in to this product area:

    My MVware Download Product


    then you scroll down to check out the file download listing. Here's the 2 I'm most interested in:

    ESXi 5.5 Update 1 Driver Rollup 2 (Includes VMware Tools)  2014-04-24 | 5.5.0 U1 | 328 MB
    VMware-ESXi-5.5U1-Rollup_2ISO.iso (note, I've temporary included a direct URL download link to this ISO)

    followed by this 318KB PDF to go with it:
    ESXi 5.5 Update 1 Driver RollUp 2 README

    ESXi 5.5.0 Update 1 Driver Rollup 2 ISO with updated drivers (Includes VMware Tools). Boot your server with this ESXi Driver Rollup image in order to install ESXi with updated drivers. ESXi requires 64-bit capable servers. This image should not be used for ESXi upgrades.

    NOTE: After installation of the ESXi Driver Rollup ISO, VMware strongly recommends applying the ESXi 5.5.0 patches related to Heartbleed, a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL version 1.0.1a-f. See KB2076121 and KB2076589 for details.

    VMware ESXi™ 5.5.1 Driver Rollup 2 - Build 1763744
    What's In This Release
    This release of the VMware ESXi 5.5.1 Driver Rollup 2 provides an installable ESXi ISO image
    that includes drivers for various products produced by VMware partners.

    Response to Heartbleed Vulnerability
    VMware is aware of Heartbleed, a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL version 1.0.1a-f and strongly
    recommends applying the ESXi 5.5.0 patches related to KB 2076121 and KB 2076589.

    Third-Party Drivers Added or Updated in the VMware ESXi 5.5.1 Driver Rollup2 ...

    where it goes on with a multi-page table listing the updated drivers, here's the one I'm interested in for my home lab's 9265-8i RAID controller,
    LSI LSI_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-sas_6.602.54.00-1OEM.550.0.0.1198610 1464506.

    I don't know much about this rollup just yet, just grabbed my own copy. I'll update this article, if significant new information is learned. Here's some preliminary observations:

    1) Availability

    Those registered under free or trial editions for prior ESXi downloads won't even see it in their

    VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 Download Center

    area, instead, they see only the Mar 11 2014 5.5.0 Update 1 version. This will require some further testing to confirm, and not sure yet how new accounts are handled as a workaround, see also:

    My VMware’s “You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product.” error, and what to do about it.

    but I doubt it'll even be available for most folks, which tends to lead to frustration for newbies. Having an ISO to install ESXi 5.5 with older network or other drivers on there isn't really a big deal though, even for newbies without VMware Update Manager. I outlined just one of many ways to handle this here:

    Use ESXi-Customizer GUI to inject multiple driver VIBs into your ESXi installer ISO

    2) Limitations

    This is intended to be used clean installations only. In other words, it won't do upgrades.

    3) What does it do for you?

    One might guess it'd fix the known iSCSI issue that Andreas Peetz detailed back on MAR 24 2014:

    Updated: [ALERT] Issue with the ESXi 5.5 U1 Driver Rollup ISO: Software iSCSI adapter crashes hostd

    This is not the first time that an ESXi Driver Rollup ISO causes issues (see my earlier warning about the ESXi 5.0 Rollup ISOs), and to me it is not really clear why VMware publishes these ISOs and what their intended use case is.

    but not likely, since it's not really a "real" update, it's just a driver update, and I haven't located any documented claims this fixes this iSCSI issue (that I haven't been affected by). Nor does it really fix Heartbleed.

    I hope a new bundle of vSphere goodness is ready to go soon, especially for new from scratch lab builds, including a new rev of the Hypervisor itself (which 5.5 Update 1a didn't include), called something like:

    5.5 Update 1b
    5.5 Update 2

    since we'd then likely have:

    • no Heartbleed patching of newly installed ESXi host needed, with ready-to-go versions of ESXi and vCSA
    • less concerns based on previous driver rollup experience
    Andreas Peetz simple method of Heartbleed remediation for ESXi 5.5 host, in action

    Notice this Heartbleed patch method by Andreas Peetz that I demonstrated on video at this spot, where my 5.5 build's drivers sure seem to be updated.

    So, what's your experience with this new ISO?
    Drop your comments below, no login required.

    See also:

    (related article that >50,000 others have enjoyed)

    Rufus takes 2 minutes to create a bootable USB flash drive for ESXi installation