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Updating vCenter Appliance 6 Update 1b to Update 2a

I have a vCenter Appliance 6 U1b with embedded Platform Services Controller in my lab which I decided needed to be upgraded to U2a. Before you start make sure you have:
  • User "root" password for your appliance not SSO administrator password 
  • Able to mount ISO to your vCenter Appliance VM 
  • You are not doing any major task within vCenter like deploying a VM as it could be affected as vCenter services will be stopped/unavailable once the upgrade is completed and you would need to do a reboot
  1. First you need to go https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/patch to download the patch that is available for your vCenter Appliance version. Do not go to the usual product download page as that will not work for upgrades for vCenter Appliance. 
  2. Once you have downloaded the patch ISO then you need to mount the ISO to your vCenter Appliance VM. 
  3. Using your preferred browse go to your vCenter Appliance administrator page https://appliance-IP-Address-or-FQDN:5480 and login using the "root" account so not SSO administrator account.

  1. Once logged in click on "update" and you should see the current version of your vCenter 


  1. Ensure at this point that you have already mounted your ISO to your vCenter Appliance VM. On the same page as previous step by top right corner click on "Check Updates". This will bring a menu down and select "Check CDROM".


  1. The system will now check the CD ISO to see if there are any updates needed. If there are updates the you will see information under "Available Updates" and it will state if the appliance needs a reboot after update. If you click the arrow next to "More Details" it will provide you more information such as; 
  • Release date of this patch 
  • Severity and category of this patch 
  • Link to VMware KB article about this patch
  1. Once you are happy with this patch then click on "Install Updates" and select "Install CDROM updates".

  1. An End User License Agreement pop up box will appear. Tick box "I accept the terms of the license agreement" and click "Install".

  1. A progress box of installation will appear and click on "Show Details" if you would like to see which stage the installation process is at.


  1. Once the progress bar is 100% and it is showing as successfully then it means the installation is completed. If a reboot is required then the next step is to initiate a reboot for the appliance as vCenter services will be unavailable now so you have to reboot to be able to use vCenter. Hence the reason at the start my article I mentioned about not to kick of any major task within vCenter as the services will now be unavailable until you reboot the appliance.
There is two ways to reboot the appliance either via GUI or the command line.

GUI Way:
  1. If you are still within the GUI from the above steps then click on "Summary" and select "Reboot" from the top right.
  1. Once rebooted log in as root at https://appliance-IP-Address-or-FQDN:5480 and select "update" on the navigation panel. You should now see under "update version" the version you have updated to.
Command Line Way:
  1. SSH to the appliance using your preferred tool and login using "root"
  2. Type command shutdown reboot -r %Reason for reboot% ie shutdown reboot -r "upgrade from U1 to U2"
  1. Once rebooted use the GUI method step 2 to quickly confirm your version you have upgraded to
This concludes the very basic steps to upgrade your vCenter Appliance.

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