In this post I will provide a quick way to update your standalone ESXi host to ESXi 5.5 and an important heads-up for the early adopters.
How to update to ESXi 5.5
If your host is connected to the Internet then you just need to 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 ESXi 5.5 GA Imageprofile from the VMware Online depot esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standardIt might be very important to use update and not install here! More on this later. Reboot the host to complete the update.
If your host is not connected to the Internet then you can still update using the ESXi 5.5 Offline bundle. Unfortunately VMware does not provide this to free license users, so we need some additional steps to create it on our own:
- Find a Windows machine that is connected to the Internet and install PowerCLI on it.
- Open a PowerCLI session using the installed desktop shortcut and run the following commands:
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard -ExportToBundle -FilePath .\ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard.zipThese commands will create the ESXi 5.5 Offline Bundle in the current directory.
- Upload the file to a datastore of your host using the Datastore browser of the vSphere Client. In this example we will use the datastore named ds1. Change that to match your own datastore's name!
- Open an ESXi shell on the host and run the following command there to update your host:
esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/ds1/ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard.zip -p ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standardand reboot the host to complete the upgrade.
If you use install instead of update in the above commands then the following error message will be displayed:
You attempted to install an image profile which would have resulted in the removal of VIBs ['VMware_bootbank_net-sky2_1.20-2vmw.510.0.0.799733', 'VMware_bootbank_net-r8168_8.013.00-3vmw.510.0.0.799733', 'VMware_bootbank_net-r8169_6.011.00-2vmw.510.0.0.799733', 'VMware_bootbank_net-s2io_184.108.40.20627-3vmw.510.0.0.799733']. If this is not what you intended, you may use the esxcli software profile update command to preserve the VIBs above. If this is what you intended, please use the --ok-to-remove option to explicitly allow the removal.
Please refer to the log file for more details.
Do not upgrade the virtual hardware of your VMs!
If you try to upgrade the virtual hardware of your VMs to the new revision 10 after you have updated the host to ESXi 5.5 then the following warning will be displayed by the vSphere Client:
|"If you upgrade the virtual hardware to this level, use the vSphere Web Client for managing these VMs."|
- Think twice here!
|"Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine"|
- Too bad if you do not have vCenter and the Web Client available ...
But keep in mind that this issue might also affect you if you are managing your hosts with vCenter and your vCenter server is a virtual machine! I would not upgrade the hardware version of the vCenter server then, because this might limit your options for troubleshooting when the vCenter server should become unavailable ...
What if it is too late? You have ignored the warning in the vSphere Client and have upgraded the virtual hardware and can now no longer edit its hardware? There is no menu item available to downgrade the virtual hardware of a VM, so we need to use some workaround. I'm sure that there are several ways to fix that, but what will definitely work is the following: Create a new VM with the same hardware specifications (no. of vCPUs, RAM size, disk and network controller type) than the original upgraded one. Then attach the hard disk(s) of the original VM to the new VM. The new VM will have a different MAC address (which can be manually set to the original value) and BIOS UUID, but this is better than nothing ...
This post first appeared on the VMware Front Experience Blog and was written by Andreas Peetz. Follow him on Twitter to keep up to date with what he posts.