VMware is releasing patches on regular basis, but those aren't always available within the latest installation ISO file (at least not for “free” customers). The idea is to build a new VMware ESXi ISO which integrates the latest patches inside. The download of latest patches is free, but My VMware account is required. You can create one for free. This post will teach you How To Create VMware ESXi ISO With Latest Patches, for Free VMware Hypervisor ESXi.
This post is no mean for advanced virtualization admins who knows their way, but rather for admins who are starting with virtualization and their IT carreer.
Usually, the patches contain bug fixes for ESXi but those fixes are also related to other products such as vSAN. The patches are released as ZIP file so after downloading the latest patch, we will use few PowerCLI commands and at the end, we'll generate an Installation ISO file for VMware ESXi Hypervisor.
The Free VMware ESXi Hypervisor does not provide the latest patches when downloading. The latest patches are not included so right now basically, the ISO you can download is 2 months older than the latest patch. You may want to have the latest ESXi installation ISO instead, not the one released few months back, right?
What are the requirements?
We'll use PowerCLI to build the ESXi image and then export it as an ISO. This is the only tool we need. Don't worry, it's not so difficult.
Step 1: Download PowerCLI – You first need to download and install PowerCLI.
You'll need to go and use this link, authenticate with My VMware, connect and download. (The latest PowerCLI is located at Downloads > All Products > VMware vSphere > Drivers & Tools > Automation Tools and SDKs )
Step 2: Download the latest ESXi patch – Go to VMware Patches Portal Select ESXi Embedded and Installable > Version 6.5.0 and press the Search button.
You'll get a list of patches. The most upper one is the one we need. VMware patches are cumulable it means that the latest patches are necessary only, so you don't have to download the previous ones.
The file is a ZIP file.
Once done, put the file into some temp folder on your C: driver for example. In my case, I simply created a c:\ESXiSlipStreeam folder where I put the file. (I know there are two “e” but it's on purpose… ).
Start VMware PowerCLI
Fire up the PowerCLI and “cd” to the temp folder you just created.
Just enter this:
(Don't worry if the system adds “.\” before and “\” after…)
Then enter this command:
So far so good. We're almost there. Don't go away just yet, before we'll be done.
Enter this command:
Get-EsxImageProfile | ft -AutoSize
It will show us the profile name (note that without the “ft -AutoSize” it will cut the end of the name …).
The last step
This is the last command you need to enter:
Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-6.5.0-20170404001-standard -ExportToISO -FilePath ESXi-6.5.0-20170404001.iso
Hint: You can easily copy text from the PowerCLI window…. Just select the text and either hit CTRL+C or go to the border of the window > right click > Edit > Copy.
So at the end, you should end up with the ISO file next to your ZIP file.
VMware does not really need (want) to update the Free VMware ESXi ISO with the latest patches. It's normal, they want you to become paid customer. However, this way we were able to build the latest ESXi ISO only with latest ESXi patches.
The ISO file generated is the same as the original one from VMware but includes the latest patches. You can use this latest ISO to install or upgrade existing ESXi installation. Enjoy…
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