Jan Strydom  

How to Update VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) via CLI

Link to Official Documentation

Pre-upgrade steps

  • Backup & Snapshot the appliance
    1. In the vSphere Web Client, identify the ESXi host where the vCenter Server Appliance is running.
    2. Log into the ESXi Web Client of the host identified in step 1 and locate the vCenter Server Appliance VM.
    3. Log into the vCenter Server Management Interface (https://appliance-IP-address-or-FQDN:5480).
      • Navigate to Backup and select ‘BACKUP NOW’ to perform a manual FTP backup of the vCenter Server.
      • Confirm the manual backup is successful.
      • Navigate to Actions -> Shutdown to power down the vCenter Server Appliance.
    4. Using the ESXi Web Client, take a snapshot of the vCenter Server Appliance.
    5. Using the ESXi Web Client, power on the vCenter Server Appliance.
    6. Wait for the vSphere Web Client to become available and confirm you are able to log in.
  • Obtain and attach the ISO patch to the VCSA
    1. Download the required product patch from VMware.
    2. Attach the downloaded ISO patch file to the vCenter appliance.
  • SSH to the vCenter appliance and ensure you are logged into the appliance shell.
    • The appliance shell will show command> , if you see root@vcenter [ ~ ] it means you are in the bash shell and you will need to switch back to the appliance shell. Execute the following command to switch to the appliance shell, then log out and back in.
chsh -s /bin/appliancesh root

Three steps to update the vCenter Server Appliance

Step 1
software-packages stage –-iso
Step 2
software-packages list --staged
Step 3
software-packages install --staged

You will notice a long list of RPM being installed followed by a message ‘Converting data as part of post install ….’. This does take between 30 to 60 minutes to complete, just be patient and wait for the ‘Installation completed successfully’ message to appear. Follow this with a reboot of the appliance via the management interface (https://appliance-IP-address-or-FQDN:5480) and that’s it, the patch has been applied.

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