Why upgrading from ESXi 5.5 Update 3b to 6.0 fails

As of now users who are running ESXi 5.5 with the latest patch level Update 3b will find it difficult to upgrade to ESXi 6.0. Trying that with VMware Update Manager (VUM) or the esxcli software profile update method fails with error messages. esxcli throws this error:

VIB VMware_bootbank_xhci-xhci_1.0-3vmw.550.3.78.3223702 requires com.vmware.usb-, but the requirement cannot be satisfied within the ImageProfile.

and the VUM remediation process fails with the error event

The upgrade contains conflicting VIBs. Remove the conflicting VIBs or use Image Builder to create a custom upgrade ISO image that contains the newer versions of the conflicting VIBs, and try to upgrade again.

The issue is mentioned in an updated version of the VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 3b Release Notes, with a refreshingly short list of possible workarounds: None.

What are our options in this situation, are there really no workarounds?

How to build a customized ESXi installation image for your whitebox server

My ESXi-Customizer tool has come a long way... Originally built in 2011 it was a great tool for building customized VMware ESXi installation images, it was downloaded over 200k times since then and helped a lot of people who had one quest: getting ESXi installed and running on their whitebox (unsupported) hardware. This year it was even mentioned in a VMware KB article ... However, please do NOT use it anymore! Because ...

Since quite a while there is a much better way to build customized ESXi images, and that is my ESXi-Customizer-PS PowerCLI script. I'm writing this post not only to explain how easy it is to create a customized ESXi installation image for your whitebox server with this script, but also to convince the last nonbelievers that it works much better than my legacy ESXi-Customizer tool.