How to Update vCenter Server Appliance to 6.5 Update 1d

VMware recently released vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1d (Build 7312210). You can read more details about this release in my previous article: “New Release – VMware vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1d”. In another article, I showed how to update vCenter Server Appliance using VAMI (vCenter Server Management Interface). The article covers the update to version 6.5 Update 1b, but there is no change in procedure to go to the latest Update 1d.

In this article I will show a different way to update vCenter Server Appliance. I will update vCSA using the appliance shell. This process is as simple as updating through VAMI, but instead of clicking through the user interface, I will execute few commands in remote console.

Note: If you look for VCSA installation instructions, check this article: How to Install VCSA 6.5 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance).

Update vCenter Server Appliance – Check Current Version

In my case, I will update vCenter Server Appliance from build 6816762 to the latest build 7312210. We can check the current version in few different ways. First, I can go to vSphere Web Client, navigate to the vCenter object in the left “Navigator” panel and see the current version right in the center of the screen.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Initial Version

For a second option, I will connect to VAMI interface (that’s accessible at https://vcenter_URL:5480). I will then choose “Update” item in the left “Navigator” menu. I will se again the current version and as a plus the release date.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Initial Version


Because this is what I will use to update the vCSA, I left as the last option the remote console. I connected to the remote console of the vCenter Server Appliance, and the first row loaded on the screen shows me again the current version.

vCSA currently has 2 shells available: bash and appliance shell. To update vCSA, I need use the appliance shell. As you can see in the below screenshot, I am using bash shell. To switch to appliance shell, I need to run this command, logout and re-login to the appliance:

chsh -s /bin/appliancesh root

If you need more details, procedure to switch between bash and appliance shell is described in KB2100508.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - SSH Connection

Update vCenter Server Appliance – Install

After logout and re-login, the appliance shell loads. First step of the update is to stage the update. There are two ways to stage the updates, using an ISO archive mounted to the appliance or using an online repository. As I have Internet access from my appliance, I chose the easy path, to stage the updates from the official VMware repository:

software-packages stage --url

Please note I don’t actually specify any URL. If you want to use a different repository, you can do so by appending the repository URL to previous command:

software-packages stage --url repository_URL

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Staging

After I accepted the EULA, staging process started. Shortly, I had 111 packages staged to my appliance.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Staging Complete

To check the staged updates, I use the following command:

software-packages list --staged

I can see the staged update listed as, build number 7312210, released on 19th December 2017.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - List Staged

Now comes the hard part, to start the actual install process:

software-packages install --staged

Not that hard, right? All I have to do now is sit and relax while the update installs.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Install

Update vCenter Server Appliance – Check Target Version

After the install process completed, I restarted the appliance and waited for it to boot. To verify the current version, I connected to VAMI interface. Current version is build number 7312210, released on 19th December 2017.

Update vCenter Server Appliance - Check Version

Everything checked out, happy VM managing 🙂


Constantin Ghioc

I usually play with vSphere API, Ansible, vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator, and different AWS tools. In my other life I’m a husband and a father, an amateur photographer and a Go enthusiast.

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