Quick Tips: Updating ESXi Host (Online Method)

Hello and welcome to Quick Tips.

This quick tip is designed to walk a novice, step by step, through the process of updating an ESXi host. If you’re not a novice, this will be a refresher.
Mostly, I wanted to write it down somewhere so I wouldn’t forget in my old age.

Sorry folks, no pictures on this one. Maybe I’ll add some later.

 

Note: This will update ESXi 6.5 to 6.5 Update 1 with the latest patch as of March 2018.

 

Step 1 – Enable SSH on the ESXi host

  1. Log into the host via the HTML5 web client ui.
  2. Click on Host.
  3. Click on “Manage” tab.
  4. Click on “Services” sub-tab.
  5. Locate “TSM-SSH” and select it.
  6. Click on “Actions“, then “Start“.

 

Step 2 – Place the host into maintenance mode

  1. Log into the host via the HTML5 web client.
  2. Shut down all VMs.
  3. Right click on Host and choose “Enter maintenance mode“.

 

Step 3 – Enable Host-Local Swap for a Standalone Host

  1. Log into the host via the web client HTML5 web client ui.
  2. Click on Host.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. Click on the “System” tab.
  5. Click on “Swap“.
  6. Ensure “Datastore” is set with a value.
  7. If no value, click “Edit settings” and select a local datastore from the list and click “SAVE“.

 

Step 4 – Using PuTTY to SSH into ESXi Host

  1. Open PuTTY and setup connection for IP address of ESXi host.
  2. Choose “SSH” as the option.
  3. Accept the certificate if prompted.
  4. Use root account username/password to login.

 

Step 5 – Validate Current Build Version

  1. Run the following command:
    esxcli system version get
  2. Write down the “Build:” line.

 

Step 6 – Open ESXi Host Firewall

  1. Run the following command:
    esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
    

 

Step 7 – Run the ESXi 6.5 Update 1 update on the ESXi host

  1. Run the following command:
    esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.5.0-20180304001-standard
    

 

Step 8 – Update Installing…

  1. The host will now update. This will take many minutes (depending on Internet speeds) and there is no progress indicator.
  2. When completed, you should see “The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted” message, with a listing of the VIBs that were installed.
  3. Reboot the host from the command line by typing “reboot” and press enter.

 

 

POST Tasks after Host has Rebooted

Step 1 – Validate Current Build Version

  1. SSH into the host and run the following command:
    esxcli system version get
    
  2. Compare the old Build to the new Build. It should be newer. (e.g. Build: Releasebuild-7967591)

 

Step 2 – Re-enable firewall rule for httpClient

  1. SSH into the host and run the following command:
    esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
  2. Exit out of SSH by typing the command “exit” and press enter.

 

Step 3 – Disable SSH on the ESXi host

  1. Log into the host via the HTML5 web client ui.
  2. Click on Host.
  3. Click on “Manage” tab.
  4. Click on “Services” sub-tab.
  5. Locate “TSM-SSH” and select it.
  6. Click on “Actions“, then “Stop“.

 

Step 4 – Remove the host from maintenance mode and start VMs

  1. Log into the host via the HTML5 web client.
  2. Right click on Host and choose “Exit maintenance mode“.
  3. Start up all VMs.