HOW TO: Update VMware ESXi 6.7 GA to ESXi 6.7U3(a) direct from VMware.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2019-2011 30 years of experience.
Make sure your ESXi server is up to date with the current firmware with - 2 Easy steps to upgrade VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7 GA (ESXi 6.7 GA) to 6.7u3(a) Build 15018017, by downloading and applying the update directly from VMware.

On the 17th April 2018, VMware released ESXi 6.7 Build 8169922, which is known as the general availability build of the product, or GA. Almost two years have now past and 17 new updates have been created. The latest version at the time of writing (21st November 2019) this article is Build 15018017 (U3(a)). 

A common problem posted at Experts Exchange are issues with the current version of ESXi 6.7, which have been resolved with the latest release of ESXi 6.7. Although ESXi 6.7 is not Microsoft Windows, VMware does release Critical and Security updates on a regular basis, which need to be applied to production servers.

To get your system up to the recommended standard, this article will show you how to update ESXi 6.7 GA to ESXi 6.7u3(a) quickly and easily (in 2 steps!) if your ESXi host has access to the internet, this method will pull the update direct from the internet and update the ESXi host. If you prefer the slower old fashioned method or your host does not have access to this internet, please follow this article - HOW TO: Update VMware ESXi 6.7 GA to ESXi 6.7U3(a) in 5 easy steps.

Before we get started:

It is important to ensure you have valid backups of your virtual machines before you make any changes to a Production VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 6.7 GA Host server, which is hosting virtual machines. All virtual machines must be powered off with the server in maintenance mode.

Here are the steps to upgrade your software:


1. Connect to the ESXi 6.7 host server via SSH

At the console prompt, type 

vmware -l 

to confirm the ESXi version. VMware ESXi 6.7 GA or later should be returned, though this will depend upon whether any patches have been applied.

2. Use esxcli at the console command line to update the server

  • At the console, type:

esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true

this command enables maintenance mode. The host ESXi server must be in maintenance mode to be patched and updated.

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient

this command enables httpClient via the firewall.

esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20191104001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

this command pulls the update direct from the internet and updates the host.

  • The above command does not produce any feedback if entered correctly. After approximately 20 seconds, the upgrade should be completed, however, we have found that if you are using slow USB flash drives and SD cards, this can take considerably longer for the files to be written. You will be presented with the following screen upon completion:

  • If all is well you should see an update screen, as above, you may have to scroll the screen to see all the information. But check the update result, at the top. The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

  • You should be able to see new VIB packages installed, removed, and some have been skipped. If you are using an OEM version of VMware ESXi 6.7GA (e.g. from HP, IBM or Dell) your output could be different.

  • Type 

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient
  • to disable the httpClient rule you enabled earlier. 
  • to reboot the server.

5. Check the ESXi 6.7 GA Host server has been updated.

  • Check the following:
    • The Console Screen should report VMware ESXi 6.7 (VMKernel Release Build 15018017)

Congratulations, you have successfully updated your host server from VMware ESXi 6.7 GA to VMware ESXi 6.7u3(a). This method works for all versions of ESXi and updates, you just need to change the updates!

Basic VMware Articles Series:

During this series of articles, VMware released VMware vSphere 5.5 and VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.5. These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0 and 5.5. For consistency, I have used VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 throughout this series:


Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback. If you liked my VMware article and would like to see more Articles from me, please click the Yes button near the: Was this article helpful? at the bottom of this article just below and to the right of this information. Thank You. Do not forget if you have a question about this article or another VMware, Virtualisation, Windows Server 2012 question, why not post a Question for Me and the other Experts Exchange Experts in the VMware, Virtualisation, Windows 2008, Windows 2012 Zones. I look forward to hearing from you. - Andy :- twitter @einsteinagogo

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