ESXI 5.1 patch update failed

Posted on 2013-02-06
Last Modified: 2013-02-10
Tried to update patch on my esxi 5.1 host using SSH. I downloaded the patch from

I first tried but it failed and then tried also got the same message... see screenshot.. what did I do wrong?

Question by:okamon
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

rjanowsky earned 210 total points
ID: 38862712
You have to use the command:

esxcli software vib install -d path-to-patch

Have a look at the cli docs here

You want to install a new patch and don't want to update an installed one.

Author Comment

ID: 38862737
it seems it worked! but I still don't understand why it was not an UPDATE?
As I followed this article and it seems it's also for the patch. the update was used in the article....

Author Comment

ID: 38862750
And now I just tried to do the second Patch
and this time it worked with the "UPDATE" switch -> esxcli software vib update-d path-to-patch  ... WHY?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38862758
But if you look at the screenshot in your link, you see that most of the patches were skipped. Only a few vibs were installed. The documentation is quite clear:

software vib update - Update installed VIBs to newer VIB packages. No new VIBs will be installed, only updates.

software vib install - Installs VIB packages from a URL or depot. VIBs may be installed, upgraded, or downgraded.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38862775
In the second patch they was really an update package for the tools - see attached screenshot. In the first patch was only the esx base system.

Which build number is your host now running? Build Number: 914609 from ESXi510-201212001 or build number: 838463 from  ESXi510-201210001?
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LVL 118
ID: 38862980
it seems to me, that you have the same build number that you are patching?

what is your build number?

Author Comment

ID: 38866164
I think the original build was 5.1.0, 7xxxxxxx cannot recall the number after. As it didn't work first with the update switch, I followed rjanowsky and run the install switch and it worked ( I rebooted the esxi host and then run the esxcli command again and this time, I used the update switch for the It worked and I rebooted again. Now I am on 5.1.0, 9414609
So my question is how do I determine what switch to use, update or install?

And my second question, does the include everything in can I just run or I have to run first and then like what I did here
LVL 118
ID: 38866189
update and install do the same thing.

the updates are cumulative, so you only need to use the lastest patch.

Author Comment

ID: 38866355
thanks! hanccocka. so why the update switch didn't work with this is what I wanted to know if you are saying "update and install do the same thing."
LVL 118

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 210 total points
ID: 38866500
we have seen some very odd behavoir when using the esxcli to update/install updates, and sometimes, the update is not installed, after several reboots.

some users use update to install patches, and some users use update.

I think it's safer always to use install, it seems to be more reliable.

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