Slightly Some

Upgrading ESXi from 4.0 to 4.1

By: Leo
05/02-11, 05:03
Category: Code
VMware

I use the free version of ESXi from VMware to virtualize my home Linux servers. My ESXi 4.0 host got a PSOD (Purple Screen Of Death) the other day, so I decided it maybe was time to update the ESXi software to the latest version.

On the VMware site I found that ESXi has come out with a 4.1 version. What wasn't that clear was how I should do this upgrade, as the old host update utility is no longer supported. After some searching it came clear that the only way to upgrade the free ESXi was to manually download patches and use a command line utility to do the upgrade. Not very user-friendly if you ask me.

The upgrade procedure is described in the vSphere Upgrade Guide, but it isn't very clear that there is only one option if you are using the free version of ESXi.

Upgrade procedure

For the ones that don't want to read and understand the different upgrade procedures in the Upgrade Guide, here is how to upgrade the free version of ESXi from 4.0 to 4.1.

  • Install the VMware vSphere CLI 4.1 on the PC you are running the upgrade from.
  • Download the upgrade file from the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) download page. Currently is the upgrade file called: upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip.
  • Shutdown all viritual machines and set the host in maintenance mode.
  • Open a command line and run the following two commands in your download directory to upload the upgrade bulletins to the host:
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> -i -b upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip -B ESXi410-GA-esxupdate
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> -i -b upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip -B ESXi410-GA
    
  • You can verify that the two bulletins has been installed by running the following command:
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> --query
    
    ---------Bulletin ID--------- -----Installed----- ----------------Summary-----------------
    ESXi410-GA-esxupdate          2011-02-05T00:53:05 ESXi pre-upgrade Bulletin
    ESXi410-GA                    2011-02-05T00:55:16 ESXi upgrade Bulletin
    
  • Reboot the ESXi host.

Patching procedure

After upgrading to 4.1, it's time to apply the available patches. The patching procedure is quite similar to the upgrade procedure.

  • Find and download the patches from the VMware patch download page. The first patch available should be ESXi410-201010001.zip. I will use this file as an example.
  • Shutdown all viritual machines and set the host in maintenance mode.
  • Open a command line and run the following command in your download directory to list the contents of the patch:
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> -l -b ESXi410-201010001.zip
    
    ---------Bulletin ID---------   ----------------Summary-----------------
    ESXi410-201010401-SG            Updates Firmware
    ESXi410-201010402-BG            Updates VMware Tools
    
  • This patch consists of two bulletins: ESXi410-201010401-SG and ESXi410-201010402-BG.
  • Open a command line and run the following two commands in your download directory to upload the patch bulletins to the host:
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> -i -b ESXi410-201010001.zip -B ESXi410-201010401-SG
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> -i -b ESXi410-201010001.zip -B ESXi410-201010402-BG
    
  • You can verify that the two bulletins has been installed by running the following command:
    vihostupdate.pl --server <ipaddr> --query
    
    ---------Bulletin ID--------- -----Installed----- ----------------Summary----------------
    ESXi410-201010401-SG          2011-02-05T01:33:35 Updates Firmware
    ESXi410-201010402-BG          2011-02-05T01:34:55 Updates VMware Tools
    
  • Reboot the ESXi host.

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