Update VMWare ESXi on single host (WebGUI)

If you’re running VMWare ESXi on a single host, you can’t update through vSphere so you need to do it by yourself.

Introduction

This how-to have been tested and known to work, but not limited to the following versions

  • ESXi 8

Prerequisite

  • Root access to ESXi
  • Access to VMWare ESXi offline bundle file (Download link below)
  • SSH software
    • macOS, you can use Terminal
    • Linux, you can use Terminal
    • Windows, I do recommend you to use PuTTY

Download VMWare ESXi offline bundle

First you need to download the latest VMWare ESXi offline bundle file.

Now when you have downloaded latest ESXi let’s get started.

Set host in maintenance mode

  • Click Host in the left menu -> Actions on the right -> Click on Enter maintenance mode in the dropdown

  • You will get a pop-up where you need to confirm that you want to put the host in maintenance mode, click Yes

  • Now you can see that the host have entered maintenance mode

Upload VMWare ESXi offline bundle

Now it’s time to upload VMWare ESXi offline bundle file that you did download earlier

  • In the left menu click on -> datastore1 (your datastore might be named differently) -> Datastore browser

  • Click on Upload file and then select VMWare ESXi offline bundle file that you did download earlier to upload it. If you look at the left side of the window you will see a progress bar

Execute update command

Now it’s time to start the update, as far as I know you need to do this through SSH. So, you need to enable SSH on the host.

  • Click on Host in the left menu -> Actions at the right -> Services in the dropdown -> Enable Secure Shell SSH

  • Now you need to connect to the host, you can do that with the Terminal in macOS or Linux, for Windows I can recommend you to download Putty

  • Let’s see what profiles that are located on our update, to do that you can write the following command. Remember to replace path after --depot= to your own path

    esxcli software sources profile list --depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/Update/VMware-ESXi-8.0U2b-23305546-depot.zip
    

  • What you want is the update with both patch and security updates, choose ESXi-8.0U2b-23305546-standard

  • Now it’s time to run the update, if you get error in return like me, I’ll go through how to solve it below. To start the update, execute the update execute the following command. And remember to change path to your own after --depot=

    esxcli software profile update --depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/Update/VMware-ESXi-8.0U2b-23305546-depot.zip --profile=ESXi-8.0U2b-23305546-standard
    

  • If you did get in to any errors, you can fix it by following the steps below, if you did not get any errors you can skip the step below and go to “Exit maintenance mode”

If you get into any errors

Sometimes it happens that you will run into errors, so I’ll go through the usual fixes below.

  • First step is to make sure that cache is activated

  • Click on Host in left menu -> System -> Swap Edit settings

  • Make sure that everything looks like the picture below (Datastore1 might be named differently on your host)

  • Reboot your ESXi host

  • Now do the steps in “Execute update command” again If you still getting errors you need to delete everything in the /tmp folder, follow the steps below.

  • To delete everything in /tmp type the following command

    rm -rf /tmp/*
    
  • You can verify that the /tmp folder is empty by executing the following commands

    cd /tmp
    ls
    
  • Reboot your ESXi host

  • Now, try to run the update commands once again from “Execute update command”

  • If you don’t get into any errors after you have run the update command it should look something like this

  • Now it’s time to reboot the host

    esxcli system shutdown reboot --reason "Updated ESXi"
    

Exit maintenance mode

Now when the host has rebooted you need to exit maintenance mode if it still is in maintenance mode, do that by click on Host in left menu -> Actions to the right and then Exit maintenance mode in the dropdown menu.

Conclusion

Now everything is finished and you ESXi host should be updated.

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