A. vSphere 4 has a neat Update Manager that can automatically download patches and apply them. If you need to manually apply them, however, you can install patches from the command prompt once you've enabled maintenance mode (see the previous FAQ for more on maintenance mode).

Once you've downloaded the ESX updates from VMware's site, you should copy them to a location accessible through ESX and then open a command prompt session (e.g. via Putty).

Use the esxupdate command to apply patches. Note that you can first check what's contained in the patch file downloaded using the scan option. For example, I used the command

esxupdate --bundle ESX400-200912001.zip scan

and saw the following:

ESX400-200912001.zip #####################################
### \[100%\]

Applicable bulletins with updates are listed.
----Bulletin ID---- ---Date--- ---------Summary---------
ESX400-200912401-BG 2010-01-05 Updates vmx, vmkernel etc
ESX400-200912402-SG 2010-01-05 Updates OpenSSL
ESX400-200912403-SG 2010-01-05 Updates NSS and NSPR
ESX400-200912404-SG 2010-01-05 Updates DHCP
Esxupdate local cache states:
Location: /tmp/updatecache
Available space: 2015 \[MB\]

Note that when you specify the bundle, there are two dashes (--bundle).

To install, use the update switch. For example,

esxupdate --bundle ESX400-200912001.zip update

You'll get output similar to the following:

ESX400-200912001.zip ####################################
#### \[100%\]

Unpacking vmware-esx-perftool.. #########################
############### \[100%\]

Unpacking vmware-esx-vmkernel.. #########################
############### \[100%\]

Installing nspr ########################################
 \[100%\]

Installing vmware-esx-vmkerne.. #########################
############### \[100%\]

Cleaning up vmware-esx-perfto.. #########################
############### \[100%\]

Cleaning up vmware-esx-vmkern.. #########################
############### \[100%\]

Running \[/usr/sbin/vmkmod-install.sh\]...
ok.
The update completed successfully, but the system needs
to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

You can then reboot using the reboot command.

Related Reading:



Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.