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Manually updating a standalone vSphere server through the vSphere CLI

Not all vSphere servers are managed by vCenter, you probably also have a single vSphere server somewhere. So when there is no vCenter there is no VMware Update Manager (VUM) either, how do you patch the standalone vSphere server?

This can be done manually with the vSphere CLI!
It’s a pretty easy procedure, if you follow a few steps.

Requirements

Download and install de latest VMware vSphere CLI
This can be downloaded from: Download VMWare vSphere CLI

– Write down your current vSphere version number.
This info can be found when logging in with the vSphere Client and watching the main screen.

– Locate the needed updatepatches from VMware.com
VMware build a nice host build list at: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1014508

– Download the required patch from VMware.com
This can be downloaded from: http://www.vmware.com/patch/download

Installation

1. Start you’re vSphere client and log on to the vSphere host.

2. Upload the downloaded patch to your datastore.

3. Put your vSphere server in maintenance mode, so shutdown the hosts that this server hosts.

4. Start your vSphere CLI and complete the following commandline:

   esxcli --server="<vSphere DNS/IP>" software vib install -d "</vmfs/volumes/DATASTORENAME/UPDATE_PATCH.ZIP>"

In my case it looked like this

   esxcli --server="esxi-1" software vib install -d "/vmfs/volumes/Datastore01/update-from-esxi5.1-5.1_update02.zip"

5. Press enter and wait until the following message apears on the screen:

Installation result    
Message: The Update completed successfully, 
         but the system needs to be rebooted for the change to be effective.    
Reboot required: true    
VIBs installed: ............................. All the VIBs that where updated

6. Reboot your vSphere host

After the reboot take a look at the vSphere version number, this should be higher // equal to your uploaded patch.

If all looks well, don’t forget to take your server out of Maintenance Mode.

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