My challenges with upgrading VMware to 6.5u1

So in theory, a new VMware release is normally a doddle to upgrade to using the methods covered in Keeping VMware ESXi Updated: 6.5 Update 1. It’s worked for the last few releases, and even the same underlying process worked to Upgrade VMware ESXi from 5.5U3 to 6.5 online.

But when I tried to upgrade to 6.5 Update 1, I got a [ToolError] message, and nothing would make it go away. So I put the upgrade off for a while and hoped that the Wisdom of the Internet™ would prevail.

And indeed it has. Trying a few days later, I discovered a Reddit entitled Error trying to update an ESXi 6.5 Host to the brand new release. The article didn’t have the exact error I had but did deal with something that I’d spotted in the /var/log/esxupdate.log file. The challenge appeared as the VMware Tools locker.

So I follow the instructions and get a successful install and a request to reboot. It looks good, and I’m on VMware 6.5U1 now. A synopsis of those instructions follows:

  • Download the VMware Tools locker .VIB file from https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/esx/vmw/vib20/tools-light/VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.23.5969300.vib.
  • Copy the file to your VMware host
  • From an SSH terminal, login and execute:
    esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/Nearline/VMware\ Patches\ and\ vibs/VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.23.5969300.vib 
    Installation Result
     Message: Operation finished successfully.
     Reboot Required: false
     VIBs Installed: VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.23.5969300
     VIBs Removed: 
     VIBs Skipped:
  • Now do the upgrade as previously taught.
    esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170702001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
    Update Result
     Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
     Reboot Required: true
     VIBs Installed: VMW_bootbank_i40en_1.3.1-5vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_igbn_0.1.0.0-14vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_ixgben_1.4.1-2vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_misc-drivers_6.5.0-1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_ne1000_0.8.0-16vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_ntg3_4.1.2.0-1vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.0.32-4vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_pvscsi_0.1-1vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_qlnativefc_2.1.50.0-1vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_sata-ahci_3.0-26vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_usbcore-usb_1.0-3vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_vmkata_0.1-1vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_vmkusb_0.1-1vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMW_bootbank_vmw-ahci_1.0.0-39vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_esx-base_6.5.0-1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_esx-tboot_6.5.0-1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_esx-xserver_6.5.0-0.23.5969300, VMware_bootbank_lsu-hp-hpsa-plugin_2.0.0-5vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-mr3-plugin_1.0.0-10vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-msgpt3-plugin_1.0.0-7vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin_1.0.0-8vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin_2.0.0-6vmw.650.1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_vmware-esx-esxcli-nvme-plugin_1.2.0.10-1.26.5969303, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.5.0-1.26.5912915, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.5.0-1.26.5912974
     VIBs Removed: VMW_bootbank_i40en_1.1.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_igbn_0.1.0.0-12vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ixgben_1.0.0.0-9vmw.650.0.14.5146846, VMW_bootbank_misc-drivers_6.5.0-0.14.5146846, VMW_bootbank_ne1000_0.8.0-11vmw.650.0.14.5146846, VMW_bootbank_ntg3_4.1.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.0.32-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_pvscsi_0.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qlnativefc_2.1.30.0-11vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-ahci_3.0-22vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_usbcore-usb_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkata_0.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkusb_0.1-1vmw.650.0.14.5146846, VMW_bootbank_vmw-ahci_1.0.0-34vmw.650.0.14.5146846, VMware_bootbank_esx-base_6.5.0-0.19.5310538, VMware_bootbank_esx-tboot_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-xserver_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-hp-hpsa-plugin_2.0.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-mr3-plugin_1.0.0-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-msgpt3-plugin_1.0.0-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin_1.0.0-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin_2.0.0-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_vmware-esx-esxcli-nvme-plugin_1.2.0.10-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.5.0-0.19.5310540, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.5.0-0.19.5310541
     VIBs Skipped: VMW_bootbank_ata-libata-92_3.00.9.2-16vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-amd_0.3.10-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-atiixp_0.4.6-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-cmd64x_0.2.5-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-hpt3x2n_0.3.4-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-pdc2027x_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-serverworks_0.4.3-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-sil680_0.4.8-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-via_0.3.3-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_block-cciss_3.6.14-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_char-random_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ehci-ehci-hcd_1.0-4vmw.650.0.14.5146846, VMW_bootbank_elxnet_11.1.91.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_hid-hid_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ima-qla4xxx_2.02.18-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-devintf_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-msghandler_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-si-drv_39.1-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lpfc_11.1.0.6-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-mr3_6.910.18.00-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt2_20.00.01.00-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt3_12.00.02.00-11vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_misc-cnic-register_1.78.75.v60.7-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_mtip32xx-native_3.9.5-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nenic_1.0.0.2-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2_2.2.4f.v60.10-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2x_1.78.80.v60.12-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-cdc-ether_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-cnic_1.78.76.v60.13-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000_8.0.3.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000e_3.2.2.1-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-enic_2.1.2.38-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-fcoe_1.0.29.9.3-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-forcedeth_0.61-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-igb_5.0.5.1.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-ixgbe_3.7.13.7.14iov-20vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-libfcoe-92_1.0.24.9.4-8vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-core_1.9.7.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-en_1.9.7.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-nx-nic_5.0.621-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-tg3_3.131d.v60.4-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-usbnet_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_net-vmxnet3_1.1.3.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nhpsa_2.0.6-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-core_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-en_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-rdma_3.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nmlx5-core_4.16.0.0-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_nvmxnet3_2.0.0.22-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_ohci-usb-ohci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qedentv_2.0.3.29-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qfle3_1.0.2.7-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_qflge_1.1.0.3-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-ata-piix_2.12-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-nv_3.5-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-promise_2.12-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil24_1.1-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil_2.3-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-svw_2.3-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aacraid_1.1.5.1-9vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-adp94xx_1.0.8.12-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aic79xx_3.1-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2fc_1.78.78.v60.8-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2i_2.78.76.v60.8-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-fnic_1.5.0.45-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-hpsa_6.0.0.84-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-ips_7.12.05-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-iscsi-linux-92_1.0.0.2-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-libfc-92_1.0.40.9.3-5vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-mbox_2.20.5.1-6vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-sas_6.603.55.00-2vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid2_2.00.4-9vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mpt2sas_19.00.00.00-1vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptsas_4.23.01.00-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptspi_4.23.01.00-10vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_scsi-qla4xxx_5.01.03.2-7vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-1-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-2-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-3-0_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_uhci-usb-uhci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_usb-storage-usb-storage_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_vmkplexer-vmkplexer_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMW_bootbank_xhci-xhci_1.0-3vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_cpu-microcode_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_emulex-esx-elxnetcli_11.1.28.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-dvfilter-generic-fastpath_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.21.0-5724747, VMware_bootbank_native-misc-drivers_6.5.0-0.0.4564106, VMware_bootbank_rste_2.0.2.0088-4vmw.650.0.0.4564106, VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.23.5969300
  • Reboot the system (after ensuring all guests are gracefully shut down, of course!)

And that works…

Read Explaining why the VMware update to v6.5U1 didn’t work to find out why the problem occurred. I’ve also updated Keeping VMware ESXi Updated: 6.5 Update 1 to show the revised steps.