How to install a vib package on esxi

First, what is a .vib? Vib is the extension of installable packages regarding vmware esxi, it is a bit’ like .rpm for redhat or .deb for debian and exactly as rpm and deb it also manages dependencies. Through .vib you can install drivers or new features.

There are two ways to install a .vib package on an esxi host: if you have a vcenter you can use the update manager that allows you to import a vib package and then install it on the managed nodes. If you do not have a vcenter (and consequently not even an update manager) and then you have only standalone esxi, you can install vib packages from the command line (then you must first enable ssh 'cause by default is not enabled from vSphere 5).

Once connected by ssh the first thing to do is to put the node into maintenance mode, you can do it from the gui, or if you want to do it from the command line you can do with this command:

  • vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter

the commands to be given to install the package are:

  • in the case of a package in zip format:
    • esxcli software vib install -d “/vmfs/volumes/Datastore/DirectoryName/”
  • in the case of a package in .vib format:
    • esxcli software vib install -v “/vmfs/volumes/Datastore/DirectoryName/PatchName.vib”

After the package has been installed the host might require a reboot, in any case it tells you in the output after installation. If you need to restart just give a simple

  • reboot

After the reboot, the last step will be to remove from maintenance mode the server:

  • vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_exit



As written before .vib packets can be found in .zip or .vib format, actually even the .zip packages contain a .vib file

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