How to update\upgrade ESXi5 free

Many beginner admins have a problem with upgrading ESXi5 free or standalone servers. In general, there are 3 ways:

  1. Upgrade using ISO
  2. Upgrade using PowerCLi
  3. Upgrade using ESXi command line

I will quickly describe how to upgrade or patch ESXi5 free or standalone server using ESXi command line.

  1. Download zip ( ) upgrade package from VMware site
  2. Upload zip to ESXi server or to datastore which ESXi has access to.
  3. Verify ESXi version before upgrade:

    vmware -v command output

  4. Shutdown all Virtual machines before upgrade.
  5. Put ESXi server into maintenance mode
  6. Execute below command
  7. After a minute below info message will appear on screen
  8. Reboot ESXi server
  9. Exit server from maintenance mode
  10. Verify ESXi build after restart.

    ESXi build number after upgrade

  11. Host  upgraded, now, you can start VMs and upgrade VMware tools on it.

If you would like to use different method, see below link to  VMware kb article.

[box type=”info”] Other ways to update ESXi standalone servers

How to rollback Update1 from ESXi5[/box]

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).