A quick way to upgrade your host to the newest version at the time of this article, ESXi 5.5 U1 has a few requirements:
Valid DNS servers on your ESXi hosts.
Internet access on the ESXi hosts.
Does require a reboot, just as with normal host.
Before attempting the update, be sure to either disable the ESXi firewall (esxcli network firewall set -e false) or enable the correct firewall rule httpClient. (esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient). This rule allows both TCP/80 (HTTP) and TCP/443 (HTTPS) outbound.
After you’ve disabled the ESXi firewall or enabled the correct rule. you can then start the update using the esxcli software profile update command. To update via the VMware online depot, use the command like this: esxcli software profile install -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-20140302001-standard
The -d option stands for the depot, and this points to the online (VUM) depot. But you can also use it for standalone hosts. -p points to the Image Profile included in the depot, and there are 4 versions available. I chose the 5.5 U1 standard (with tools).
The S in the image profile is a security-only update and only includes security updates. The no-tools is an image profile that does not include the VMware Tools binaries.
If you don’t have access to the online depot, due to something like company policy, you can follow the same procedure for most cases. Upload the offline depot (available on the download page here) to a datastore. Then use the command esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1\ \(3\)/update-from-esxi5.5-5.5_update01.zip -p ESXi-5.5.0-20140302001-standard
During the upgrade, I ran into the following error:
You attempted to install an image profile which would have resulted in the removal of VIBs ['VMware_bootbank_vmware-fdm_5.5.0-1312298']. If this is not what you intended, you may use the esxcli software profile update command to preserve the VIBs above. If this is what you intended, please use the –ok-to-remove option to explicitly allow the removal.
Please refer to the log file for more details.
Fix this using esxcli software profile install -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-5.5.0-20140302001-standard –ok-to-remove