Upgrading from ESXi 5.5 to ESXi 6.x via SSH and esxcli
In the wake of VMware’s release of ESXi 6.0, I upgraded my ESXi 5.5 server to ESXi 6 using the install ISO file. However, it is also possible to perform the upgrade from 5.5 to 6.0 via SSH and esxcli. For more details, see below the jump.
To upgrade from ESXi 5.5 to 6.0 using esxcli:
1. Shut down all VMs running on your ESXi host machine.
2. Connect via SSH and run the following command to enter maintenance mode:
3. After putting ESXi into maintenance mode, run the following command to set the correct firewall rules for the httpClient:
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
4. Next, run the following command to list the ESXi 6.x updates available. You want the latest one that ends in “-standard” for your version of VMware.
esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml | grep ESXi-6
5. Once you’ve identified the correct version of VMware (as of 4-18-2015, this is ESXi-6.0.0-20150404001-standard), run the following command to download and install the update.
esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.0.0-20150404001-standard
Note: It is very important that you run esxcli software profile update here. Running esxcli software profile install may overwrite drivers that your ESXi host needs.
6. Once the update has been installed and prompts you to reboot, run the following command to restart:
7. After your ESXi host restarts, connect via SSH and run the following command to exit maintenance mode:
At this point, your ESXi host should be upgraded to ESXi 6.x.