Easy ESXi 5.5 upgrade via command line

ESXi 5.5 was just released general availability (GA) on Sunday (9/22) and I’m itching to upgrade the home lab to run the latest version with all it’s goodies. I wanted to try upgrading my hosts without having to go through the same process that I followed setting up ESXi on the NUC in the first place, injecting custom NIC drivers, etc.

Enter the command line…

  1. Move all VM’s from the host and then put the host into Maintenance Mode.
  2. Go to the Configuration tab > Security Profile and Enable SSH under Services.
    ssh enabled
  3. Under Firewall, enable httpClient (outbound http).
    httpClient enable
  4. Open PuTTY (or other SSH client) and SSH into your host.
  5. Type the following command to download and install the update:
    esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard
  6. Depending on your internet connection, this could take just a few minutes or longer. Once finished you should see the following:
    esxi update complete
  7. Reboot your host then verify ESXi 5.5 is installed:
    esxi 5.5
  8. note: I did have to restart the virtualcenter service in order for the Web Client to show the updated version number.
    web client esxi 5.5

That’s it, it’s as simple as that! Because I ran the UPDATE command and not the INSTALL command, my existing injected NIC drivers for the Intel NUC remained in place. So a quick and easy upgrade for hosts with no CD-ROM or ability to virtually mount a CD image.


View available upgrades

The steps above work perfectly for when you want to upgrade to ESXi 5.5, but what about when newer versions come out or you want to apply a different update? Simply run this command to view all available image profiles in the depot:

esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

get image profiles

Then replace the file name in the command from Step 5 with the new/other image profile of your choice.

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