Upgrade to ESXi v8 Using the ESXCLI Command Line

In a previous blog post, I demonstrated how easy it was to upgrade vCenter v7.0U3 to v8.0 and now want to show two methods of upgrading ESXi Hosts.

If you have hosts that are managed by vCenter, I will demonstrate how to upgrade those with vCenter Life Cycle Manage (LCM) in my next blog post.

For those instances where ESXi hosts are not managed by vCenter, you can easily upgrade them using the ESXCLI command line.

My host is an HPE DL380 currently running ESXi v7.0U3 and not managed by a vCenter. As seen in the image below, the image profile is a custom ISO from VMware.

The next step is to login to your VMware Customer portal and download the correct image file. Since I am upgrading an HPE ProLiant server, I need to be careful and grab the correct file.

After downloading the offline bundle, I need to place the file on a datastore that the ESXi host has access to. In my case I chose HPE_SSD.

Once the file upload is complete, I need to enable SSH so that I can connect via PuTTY.

Now that SSH is enabled and allowed, let’s connect via SSH.

The next step is to list the image in the depot by running the following command. The offline bundle / image name may differ depending on what image you download.

esxcli software sources baseimage list -d esxcli software sources baseimage list -d /vmfs/volumes/HPE_SSD/VMware-ESXi-8.0.1-21813344-HPE-801.

Now let’s run the following command to install and upgrade your ESXi host.

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/HPE_SSD/VMware-ESXi-8.0.1-21813344-HPE-801.

After the successful image installation, a reboot is required.

Having iLO access allows me to monitor the boot process, and as you can see, we are booting up to ESXi v8.

After the host has booted, you are greeted with a NEW login screen. You have successfully upgraded your ESXi host.

In my next blog post, I will demonstrate how easy it is to upgrade vCenter managed ESXi hosts using LCM.

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