If you are trying to update your ESXi 4 host to ESXi 4.1 using vmware host update utility, you have probably encountered this error

Failed to read the upgrade package metadata: Could not find file ‘blah blah blah metadata.xml’. Attempting to unzip the file shows no metadata.xml

You probably also noticed that the MD5 checksum on the webpage and the actual checksum of the update file upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip do not match.

VM’s MD5SUM c2c8a62d8ea2b1bcda7b934fdd850d1b

Actual MD5SUM 3397a58d7dc2f1be1e8eeee85d0d75c5

So you think someone at VMWare screwed up huh….maybe…

According to http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016209 you cant upgrade vmware using the host update utility

as per VMware “Note: You cannot use the vSphere Host Update Utility to upgrade ESX 4.x hosts”

Ok well, we need to get down to the nitty gritty and actually get involved with the command line…

  • Before you begin suspend all your vm’s or stop them (Im assuming you have a stand alone vm server)
  • Upload the upgrade .zip file to your vmfs store using the vi client (in this case I uploaded it to a folder I have called ISO)
  • At the console of you esxi box, type Alt+F1 which will drop you to the command line, then type: unsupported which will take you to the command prompt (#)
  • Enter maintenance mode by typing in the command “vim-cmd /hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
  • now type the command esxupdate –bundle=/vmfs/volumes/4bf63f47-616ef656-4228-001cc49da020/ISO/upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip stage where 4bf63f47-616ef656-4228-001cc49da020 represents whatever your “datastore1” storage is symlinked to
    (Note: thats ‘dash’ ‘dash’ bundle, the font display on this blog makes it look like one big dash)

Unpacking vmware-esx-tools-li.. ######################################## [100%]

Unpacking vmware-esx-esxupdat.. ######################################## [100%]

Unpacking vmware-esx-firmware.. ######################################## [100%]

  • this will unpack the update package and prepare it for installation
  • Then run: esxupdate – -bundle=/vmfs/volumes/4bf63f47-616ef656-4228-001cc49da020/ISO/upgrade-from-ESXi4.0-to-4.1.0-0.0.260247-release.zip update
    (Note: thats ‘dash’ ‘dash’ bundle, the font display on this blog makes it look like one big dash)

Removing packages :vmware-esx.. ######################################## [100%]

Installing packages :deb_vmwa.. ######################################## [100%]

Installing packages :deb_vmwa.. ######################################## [100%]

Installing packages :deb_vmwa.. ######################################## [100%]

The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the
changes to be effective.

  • you are done, issue the reboot command and wait for your host to come back up (remember to exit out of maintenance mode when you connect)
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