Quickest way to update your standalone host to ESXi 5.1 U1

This is a sequel to my popular posts about How to update your (free / whitebox) ESXi server to ESXi 5.1 and the FAQ Are ESXi 5.x patches cumulative?. Since Update 1 was released I got several e-mails asking how to apply it and also saw this question raised in forums again. The process is the same as going from ESXi 5.0 to 5.1 GA, and it also applies to any other ESXi 5.x patch:

To update ESXi to 5.1 Update 1 run the following commands in an ESXi shell:
# open firewall for outgoing http requests:
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient

# install the ImageProfile from the Online Depot:
esxcli software profile install -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard

# OR: update using this ImageProfile
# esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard

# close the firewall port again (optional)
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
This will only work if the host has a direct connection to the Internet, because it pulls the packages directly from the VMware Online depot.

If you just want to list all the image profiles (= patch bundles) that are available in the Online depot then you can do this with the command
esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
If your host does not have a direct Internet connection then you need to download the Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.1 U1 on another machine, upload it to a datastore of the host using the vSphere client, and replace the https-link (after "-d") in the above commands with the path to this zip-file.

Please note: Although the Offline bundle is named update-from-esxi5.1-5.1_update01.zip it can also safely be used to update an existing ESXi 5.0 installation.

It is important to notice the difference between "esxcli software profile install" and "esxcli software profile update". The install command will remove all existing packages and install only what is included in the update bundle. In contrast the update command will keep any already installed package that is not included in the patch bundle (see also the help output for "esxcli software profile --help"). That means: If you have ever installed a custom driver or software package that is not included in the original VMware ISO then you want to use update to keep them.

If your hardware is an HP server then I recommend using the latest HP Customized installation bundle. Download the zip-file based on ESXi 5.1 U1 from this page and apply it in the same way as the vanilla VMware bundle:
esxcli software profile install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-Update1-1065491-HP-5.50.26-depot.zip -p HP-ESXi-5.1.0-standard
Just like the HP Customized installation ISO (that is available on the same page) this bundle includes the latest versions of the HP software packages needed for hardware monitoring and updated device drivers for all supported HP server models.


  1. Hi - to upgrade from 799733 to 1065491 on an HP server, do I need to install the VMWare bundle first, and then then the HP Customized installation? Or is only the HP Customized installation required. Many thanks

    1. Only the VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-Update1-1065491-HP-5.50.26-depot.zip bundle is required then. It includes 5.1 U1 (= Build #1065491) and the latest HP stuff.

    2. Andreas - thanks very much for the info.. Tom

    3. Andreas,

      Thank you for the posting.

      I am having issues applying updates and/or patches. I have a Dell PET410, 16gb RAM. I am running VMware 5.0 off an 8gb USB memory stick. I am wondering if using USB for the OS is the problem.

      I don't have the error with me right now...Any thoughts?

    4. Booting off a USB stick is common practice and won't cause an issue with patching - unless it is defective! I also heard of very weird issues that were caused by defective USB ports that went away after the USB stick was plugged into another USB port.

      But for real troubleshooting I would need the exact error message!

    5. How about coming from 4.1?? Should I use the same method, ie put the zip on a datastore and install via ssh, or should I use the CD?

    6. With ESX(i) 4.1 you must use the CD. For details see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2032757

    7. Saludos desde Mexico, en mi caso tengo que actualizar una version de ESXi 5.0 con relase 46 a un ESXi 5.0 Update 1 con relase 69, Muchas gracias por tu post es de gran ayuda. Saludos

    8. Gracias por los comentarios! Me alegro de haber podido ayudar.

  2. Hi,
    you can check the name for the -p parameter with this, i don't know that it must be the one of the packet...
    esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/VMware-ESXi
    This is he last one for HP

  3. Hi - to upgrade directly from 1065491 to 3070626.. or is there any prerequisits?? Pls help me asap..

    1. Hi Karthik,

      yes, this is possible. Please use instructions available at https://esxi-patches.v-front.de.



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