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Michael Sage

IT, Digital & Culture

Patching a stand alone ESXi Host

Before we start download the latest patch for ESXi from VMware.

The patches are cumulative. I tend to only patch on the major updates.
I am using HP hardware so make sure that you download the custom image if you can. Using the standard image broke my install, thankfully the built in roll back took care of things!
Copy the latest patch to one of your datastores, in the example below I have copied it to a directory called patch on Datastore1.

First check which version of ESXi and patch level you are running:
~# esxcli system version get
   Product: VMware ESXi
   Version: 6.5.0
   Build: Releasebuild-4564106
   Update: 0
   Patch: 0
Now ensure all the VMs are powered off and the host node is in maintenance mode. Now we query the image profiles that are contained in the patch
~# esxcli software sources profile list --depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/patch/update-from-esxi6.5.zip

Name                              Vendor        Acceptance Level
--------------------------------  ------------  ----------------
ESXi-6.5.0-20171103001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
In the HP Custom image there is only one profile, but you may see many options here, unless you know otherwise just use the -standard one. Now we know the name of the profile we can update the host. I recommend doing a dry run first.
~ #  esxcli software profile update --depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/patch/update-from-esxi6.5.zip --dry-run --profile=ESXi-6.5.0-20171103001-standard

Update Result
   Message: Dryrun only, host not changed. The following installers will be applied: [BootBankInstaller]
   Reboot Required: true
   VIBs Installed:...
   VIBs Removed...
Once you are happy you can run it without the dry run option.
~ #  esxcli software profile update --depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/patch/update-from-esxi6.5.zip  --profile=ESXi-6.5.0-20171103001-standard

Update Result
   Message: Dryrun only, host not changed. The following installers will be applied: [BootBankInstaller]
   Reboot Required: true
   VIBs Installed:...
   VIBs Removed...
Once is complete you need to reboot the host.
~ # reboot
When the box is rebooted run the following, to check the new version has applied.
~ # esxcli system version get
    Product: VMware ESXi
    Version: 6.5.0
    Build: Releasebuild-5310538
    Update: 0
    Patch: 19
If the update fails, simply reboot the server and ESXi will roll back.