The VIBMatrix has joined the ESXi Patch Tracker!

My ESXi Patch Tracker service is becoming more and more popular. Many of its users probably don't know that I had a very similar service long before: On the VIBMatrix pages I maintained tables of ESXi Patch releases with lists of all included VIB packages. The original reason why I created these tables more than three years ago was to prove that ESXi 5.x/6.x Patch bundles are cumulative.

Until today the VIBMatrix was a manually maintained Excel sheet that I imported to Google Docs whenever I added a new patch to it. These times are over: I'm happy to announce that the VIBMatrix is now also fully automated and integrated into the ESXi Patch Tracker service!

[Unsupported] Defeating the VCSA shell timeout

In my earlier post vCSA 6.0 tricks: shell access, password expiration and certificate warnings I showed how can set the VCSA shell timeout to an effectively indefinite value using the command

   shell.set --enabled true --timeout 2147483647

at the appliance shell prompt. I was notified that in recent versions of the VCSA (probably since Update 1) this does no longer work. The maximum timeout that the command will accept is now 86400 seconds (= 1 day). The VAMI interface of the VCSA 6 (that was added in Update 1) also allows enabling the shell and setting the shell timeout, but there the GUI also limits the input to max. 1 day (resp. 1440 minutes).

When I checked my own vCSA (that was originally installed with 6.0 GA, then upgraded to Update 1 and Update 1b) I found that my old large timeout setting was still in place and functioning. That means even in the latest build of the VCSA 6 it is still possible to set an arbitrarily large shell timeout, just not through the appliance shell or the VAMI. So how do you do this?