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 httpClientThis 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.xmlIf 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-standardJust 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.