Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI


There are a number of different ways to get your VMware ESXi 6.0 hosts upgraded to ESXi 6.5. We have covered some of them in previous articles. However, let’s take a quick look at utilizing PowerCLI for this task with the offline update bundle that we can download from VMware. Let’s hop right into how to Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI.

Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

The first thing we need to do is download the offline update bundle from VMware. This can be found in the downloads section of VMware vSphere 6 and making sure you have selected 6.5 as the version.

Download-the-ESXi-6.5-offline-bundle-from-VMware Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

Download the ESXi 6.5 offline bundle from VMware

Once we download our offline update bundle, we need to extract the contents of the .zip file to a folder. Upload this folder to a mounted datastore of the target ESXi 6.0 host we want to update.

Once the file is uploaded, we need to connect PowerCLI either to the host directly if unmanaged by vCenter or to vCenter server.  Then we place our host in maintenance mode.

To recap the initial steps:

  • Download the offline bundle from VMware
  • Extract the bundle to a folder (just the parent .zip file)
  • Copy this folder to a local ESXi datastore
  • Place the host in maintenace mode
Place-the-ESXi-host-in-maintenance-mode Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

Place the ESXi host in maintenance mode

Installing the ESXi 6.5 update via PowerCLI

Now, we can utilize PowerCLI to install the 6.5 update on our host.  To do that, run the command:

We are pointing PowerCLI to the metadata.zip file that is contained in the extracted .zip file from the offline bundle.

VMware-ESXi-host-update-to-6.5-begins-to-apply Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

VMware ESXi host update to 6.5 begins to apply

After a few quick moments, the server should return the update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted.  Reboot the host to finalize the update.

Update-of-VMware-ESXi-6.0-to-6.5-is-successful-reboot Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

Update of VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 is successful – reboot

We can quickly see as the host is booting, we now have VMware ESXi 6.5.0.

VMware-ESXi-host-version-is-now-6.5 Update VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with PowerCLI

VMware ESXi host version is now 6.5

6.5 Update 1

There is an offline bundle to update your 6.5 version to 6.5 Update 1.  However, as at the time of this writing, I didn’t see an offline bundle available from VMware to go straight from 6.0 to 6.5 Update 1.  So you would need to run a couple of offline bundles through using PowerCLI to first get to 6.5, and then Update 1.


By using PowerCLI, we can quickly and easily update our ESX 6.0 host to version 6.5 and Update 1 using the process described above.  PowerShell PowerCLI has quickly become my preferred way of interacting with vCenter and ESXi.  If you aren’t using PowerCLI (which is doubtful), start using it and truly unlock the power of automating your vSphere environment.