Homelab Tip: Upgrade ESXi 5.5 to 6.0 U2 via command line using VMware Online Depot.

I’ll start off by saying that if you use a customized ESXi build with community supported vibs, you’re not going to want to constantly rebuild your ESXi hosts when new versions come out! Here’s what you can do to upgrade from 5.5 to 6.0 U2.

It’s a simple way to upgrade your hosts and is perfect for a small number of hosts.

  1. Place the host you want to upgrade into Maintenance Mode.
  2. On the host you’re about to upgrade, go to the Configuration tab > Security Profile and Enable SSH under Services.
  3. Open PuTTY and SSH into your host.
  4. Type the commands below into your host(s).
#Open the firewall for outgoing HTTP requests.
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
#Upgrades to ESXi 6 Update 2.
esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.0.0-20160302001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
#When the above finishes, reboot the host.
reboot

After the host has been rebooted, return firewall to original state.

#Close the firewall for outgoing HTTP requests.
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient

You also might consider turning off SSH as well, I’ll leave that up to you.

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