Upgrade ESXi from 5.0 to 5.1 without vCenter or Update Manager

Following the idea that ESXi can be updated without vCenter or Update Manager, I upgraded my ESXi from 5.0 to 5.1. As I don’t own a vCenter, I did it using the console and esxcli.

The first thing to do is to get the VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-799733-depot.zip archive file from the “Download VMware ESXi 5.1 Installable” page. Then transfer it onto some local datastore. It probably also works from remote datastore although I wouldn’t do it ; just to be sure the link isn’t lost during process.

Finally, connect to the host using SSH and issue the magic command:

# esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE/VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-799733-depot.zip -p ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard

When done, you should get the “The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.” message. Just reboot using the reboot command.

Everything went nearly smooth. On reboot, my VMs didn’t came up automatically ; strangely stuck in the
This virtual machine might have been moved or copied.“. Once checked “I moved it”, they just started well. Maybe some weirdness with datastore IDs…

Final step is to upgrade every VMware Tools.

Source: ESXi Free – how to upgrade to ESXi 5.1

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