Upgrading ESXi 6.5 to Update 2

In one of my test labs I have a stand-alone ESXi 6.5 VM server and it was time to make sure it was upgraded and patched.

Since this particular server is not managed by a vCenter, I could not use the Update Manager. I also didn’t have a burner handy, so I decided not to go the bootable ISO method.

The method I went with was using the Offline Bundle.

I found these instructions on Mike Tabor’s blog here. So props to Mike!

First download the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.5 Update 2 Offline Bundle from VMware. These instructions should work with future updates as well – so if they have released U3 or later I would use the newer release.

Now onto the actual update:

  1. Upload the ZIP file to a datastore the ESX host can reach – if possible, I would recommend a local datastore but that is not a requirement.
  2. Enable SSH on your ESXi host
  3. Put your ESXi host into Maintenance Mode
  4. Shutdown or migrate all of your active VMs to ensure the host is quiet
  5. SSH into your ESX host
  6. Run the following command. Be sure the path references your datastore and the ZIP file you put there
    esxcli software vib update -d /vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE/update-from-esxi6.5-6.5_update02.zip
  7. Once that completes, you just need to reboot the box
  8. After the reboot, exit Maintenance Mode and power on the needed VMs.

You are now running the latest update.

I hope this guide helps. I know it will help me the next time I need to do an upgrade.