One final step when upgrading the VMware environment is to finally start upgrading the VMware ESXi hosts. This is the focus of this article for the series dedicated on how to run a VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part5 starting from a VMware 6 .7 release. This is maybe one of the most critical steps as effectively the VMs are running on the ESXi hosts and need to be evacuated on a different one during the upgrade. Also VMware 7.0 has abandoned the legacy Linux Kernel Drivers in favour of the VMware Native Driver which uses a different set of APIs and a dedicated SDK. This can be a bit of a shocker especially for homelab environment relying on drivers built from the Community and now no longer valid as these are based on a legacy model. So for example all the additional drivers for the USB Network Adapters are no longer valid starting from the VMware 7.0 version.
So if in the past versions of VMware was possible to use the excellent drivers from Jose Gomes, starting from version 7.0 it is recommended to use the ones available on the fling VMware site which already leverage the latest VMware Native Driver model. More on this on a dedicated article. In this case before completing the VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part5 with the ESXi hosts it is also important to remove the previous drivers and run a full power cycle before installing different ones.
VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part5
Since a reboot is required to remove drivers from the ESXi host before the upgrade, it is a good idea to check and upgrade the host to the latest firmware. In this case the homelab runs on Intel NUC. More on this on a dedicated article.
Next is find the additional packages or drivers that are installed and are not compatible with the latest VMware 7.0u1 release. In this case an additional driver for the network adapter is installed. Unfortunately it is not compatible with the latest release and requires removal.
From a terminal connection to the ESXi Host a simple
- esxcli system module list | grep -i “driver name”; will show the status of the driver kernel module.
- esxcli system module set -m=”driver name” -e=false; disables the kernel module
- esxcli software vib list | grep -i “driver name”; shows the kernel module
- esxcli software vib remove -n “driver name”; removes the package
It ill show something similar to this, after which a full reboot is highly recommended.
In the meantime from the vCenter it is a good time to create a new baseline with the latest ISO and import this in the configuration.
A new wizard is starting and it is just a matter of specifying the name and more importantly the “Upgrade” option rather than Patch. In the end this is a different build!
Follow the wizard and point to the desired ISO file.
And a final summary before amending the configuration.
At this point the most important step is to associate the newly created baseline to the desired ESXi host and run the usual stage and remediate, in case the latter needs to be deferred.
At this point a new wizard will show the EULA terms to accept and continue.
The wizard will follow through and present the relevant information. Once ready it is a matter to hit on remediate and the VMware VUM will upgrade the host to the latest release.