Patching VMware ESXi 4.1

This article explains how to patch a standalone (i.e. not connected to Virtual Center) VMware vSphere Hypervisor (aka ESXi 4.1). If you are using Virtual Center then I strongly suggest using that to apply the patches.


  • You will need to have the vsphere CLI (command line tool) installed on your PC. You can download this from the vmware website here
  • In step 2 you will need to shut down all VMs and put the host into maintenance mode

Step 1 – Download the patches

Go to the Vmware patch website

Select all the patches and download them to a folder on your PC.

Step 2 – Apply the patches

Shut down all VMs and put the host into maintenance mode.

To install all patches in the ZIP file

The patches you’ve downloaded consist of a number of .zip files. Each of these .zip files contains separate patches. To apply all patches within the zip file run the command –server <your server IP> –username root –password <your password> -i -b <name of downloaded zip>

Note the double hypens –. Also note that installation can take quite a while.

Below is an example install

During the install you can see the progress in the vi client.


To install individual patches

If you want to install individual patches then you need to view the contents of the zip file. The command to do this is: –server <your server IP>–username root –password <your password> -b <downloaded patch> -l

Once you know the names of the patches you can install each of them separately by running the below command: –server <your server IP>–username root –password <your password> -i -b <downloaded patch> -B <name of patch>

Below is an example of an install

Once complete you will need to reboot the host, exit maintenance mode and start up the VMs.


Appendix – Commands to install all Current ESXi patches


Please replace XXXX with the host ip address of your ESX server

Please replace YYYY with the root password –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b

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