HP Customized ESXi 5.5 ISO is available - What's new?

When VMware made vSphere 5.5 generally available HP also published its own customized version of the ESXi 5.5 installation ISO including HP drivers and tools. But there was one important component missing in the first version of their customized ISO: The HP CIM providers that are needed for monitoring the hardware through the vSphere Client or HP SIM.

Now HP has fixed that and published an updated version that also includes the CIM provider package ...

What's new in there?
  • As expected the number of HP servers that are officially supported with ESXi 5.5 has significantly dropped (compared to ESXi 5.0 and 5.1). As per their ProLiant Server VMware Support Matrix all G5 models and a lot of G6 models are no longer supported.
    However, I was able to successfully install it on a DL380 G5, so it's more a matter of supportability than compatibility, but your mileage may vary ...
  • The hpacucli tool for online configuration of storage controllers from an ESXi shell or via esxcli has been replaced by the hpssacli tool. It is very similar, but supports more controllers.
  • The new tool hptestevent can be used to send WBEM test events. This is useful for checking if WBEM/CIM is correctly working and e.g. that the host was correctly registered in HP SIM for hardware monitoring and alerting.
The HP Customized ESXi 5.5 ISO can be downloaded as usual from VMware. The device drivers and bundles are also separately available at HP's vibsdepot that you can use with ImageBuilder or Update Manager.

Update (2013-10-18):

If you want to update your HP server from 5.0 or 5.1 to the HP customized ESXi 5.5 version then follow these steps:
1. Download the HP Customized ESXi 5.5 Offline bundle (the zip file) from the same location where the ISO is also available.
2. Upload it to a datastore of your host and run the following command in an ESXi shell:
esxcli software profile install -d /vmfs/volumes/ds1/VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-HP-5.71.3-Sep2013-depot.zip -p HP-ESXi-5.5.0-5.71.3
(provided your datastore name is ds1. Also compare my earlier general post about the update to ESXi 5.5)
3. Reboot the host.

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.


  1. Probably a dumb question but we've only just started deploying ESXi hosts recently. Is it possible to easily update hosts running the HP customized 5.1.x install to the HP customized 5.5 install? Ideally something as simple as you outlined here: http://www.v-front.de/2013/09/how-to-update-your-standalone-host-to.html

  2. As an owner of a N40L server, I appreciate your pointing out the missing components in the HP's initial release. I'm relatively new to ESXi. I've read about your ESXi-Customizer tool. Can this or some other PowerCLI script be used to load the updates to an existing install?

    1. Adam, Jeff, I updated may post to include instructions for an update.

    2. That's a huge help. Thanks, Andreas.

    3. Oops! After reading more closely, I see that you described an upgrade from 5.0/5.1 to 5.5. I already installed HP's first customized 5.5 ISO. Can the same process be used to update an existing 5.5 with the SIM providers?

    4. I feel like an idiot, but i'm coming to update some servers to the HP Customised 5.5 U2 bundle, and i'm sure how one determines the -p switch? Looking at your example which i followed (aka copy and pasted) successfully to update to 5.5 originally it looks like a combination of the vmware version and hp version, but i can't tell if you chose that or it is somewhere within the zip file that i am missing? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    5. Hi Adam,

      no reason to feel like an idiot. You can look up what image profiles are in a bundle by using

      esxcli software sources profile list -d bundle_file.zip


  3. with DL380 G5: New ESXi version requires a 64-bit CPU with support for LAHF/SAHF instructions in long mode.

    Possible ?

    1. LAHF/SAHF is a requirement since ESXi 5.0. Obviously the CPUs that I had in my DL380G5 support this.

  4. Vielen Dank fuer diese Infos!
    Das wird einen Kunden bald sehr gluecklich machen, wenn wir ihm seinen Raidcache einschalten :)

  5. Can I update a vSphere 4.2 cluster (installed from HP customized media) with this?
    I guess I can't update with vSphere Update Manager to get HP customization?

    1. Sure, you can.

      1) upgrade vCenter and Update Manager
      2) import the HP ESXi 5.5 Offline Bundle into Update Manager
      3) update the hosts with the associated baseline


    2. Thanks Andreas - I'll then give it a go!


  6. Hello, I have a problem that i have found many places on the internet and so fare the only solution is to down grade.
    here is links to the problem

    Problem Summary: Adding a passthrough device to a VM and then attempting to start the VM will result in a error "Failed to start the virtual machine.
    Failed to register the device pciPassthru0 for 14:0.0 due to unavailable hardware or software support" this will happen on on any HP custon ISO past ESXi v5.1 U1 (b1065491).
    5.1U1 works fine...
    here is a link to hp acknowledging the problem.

    Do you think this issue is just with the HP iso, IE do you think the vanilla ver would work, ( i have not tryed it yet but plan too)
    what is the benefit of the HP iso other than Drivers, I can take a stock version and add the drivers i needed if thats the only benefit.

  7. More info on my issue , i started out trying to passthrought the onboard sas controller on a hp gen8 microserver , when i first got the issue i thought i was just the card so i got an LSI HBA.
    So my follow up question is, if this is not intrinsically related to 5.5 but rather HP, could it be a driver? as the LSI1068e is not a HP card what could be causing it? if i make a custom ISO of 5.5 what drivers , files from HP are breaking this? Sorry i know its alot of questions but i really need to fix this.

    1. Hi Clayton,

      unfortunately you will not be able to change the passthrough behavior by changing any of the ESXi drivers, because passthrough devices are handled by the VMkernel and pass by any drivers.
      So it looks like the only way to get this fixed for now is really to downgrade ESXi.


    2. Hi,

      I'm in the same boat - trying to decide if I stay with 5.1U1 or get new hardware that supports VT-d (Dell T110?) and upgrade to 5.5U1?

      I'm running pfSense as a UTM/Firewall VM, so the WAN port is connected to public internet (via DOCSIS modem) with internet vSwitch connecting to second NIC for LAN.
      As the Management interface is bound to the LAN vSwitch & NIC, the only "exposed" part is the virtual WAN driver. (its only a home network / test lab etc)
      Are you aware of any reason that staying with 5.1U1 is a bad idea in this scenario?


      (great site BTW!)

    3. Hi Anonymous,

      if you are comfortable with 5.1 then stay with it, but you should update to the latest patch level of 5.1 to get up-to-date security fixes (build 1743533 of Apr-29).

      On the other hand upgrading to 5.5 would probably not harm (unless you use NFS storage which is buggy with the current 5.5 release). For possible benefits see http://www.v-front.de/2013/09/whats-in-esxi-55-for-free-license-and.html.


  8. Hi Andreas,

    do i have a chance to install esxi 5.5 on HP DL 180 G6 and run stable?
    What technical requirements for official supported hardware are the "must-have"?

    Thanks, Martin

    1. I don't know, Martin.

      According to HP's compatibility matrix (see my "HP & VMware Links" page) the DL180 G6 is supported for ESXi 5.0/5.1, but not for ESXi 5.5. Nevertheless it might work flawlessly. Just try it!

      If all hardware parts that are built into the system (especially NICs and storage controllers) are on the VMware HCL or have working ESXi drivers at least then you will be able to install ESXi. In any case I recommend that you use the HP Customized ESXi ISO for installation.


  9. I came from an IBM shop and am trying to identify the caveats for HP patching. Your article was a great help but one question I'd like to get a lead on is regarding the bundles. At one point it looked like HP made a full bundle referred to as the "depot offline bundle" which had drivers , cim and utilities built together. In a recent release, I was directed by HP support to download the full bundle which in reality was only the CIM providers. Have you got a good feel what the "individual bundle" naming conventions are and if there is a true Full\Depot offline bundle anymore or we're just updating 3 separate bundles to patch. I'd like to automate this through VUM but its somewhat confusing

    Many Thanks,

    1. Hi DGN,

      on the one hand you have the "HP Customized ESXi installation ISO and Offline Bundles" that include ESXi plus *all* the latest HP packages and drivers. They are available on the VMware site (because VMware owns the exclusive right to distribute ESXi).

      You can use these images to install new and to update existing HP servers. You can also import the Offline Bundles into VUM and then use VUM to bring a server to the level of these images.

      On the other hand you have the individual software packages and drivers made available by HP that you can use to update individual components. These are available for download in the HP Online Depot at http://vibsdepot.hp.com. Browse to this page, and there you will also find instructions on how to add this depot to VUM to synchronize with it.

      You can find all relevant links at my HP & VMware links page.



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