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Determining detailed build number information for VMware ESX 4.0.x hosts

Details

In some cases, after patches have been installed on an ESX host, different build numbers are reported for different components of ESX. This article provides details of the build information for ESX 4.0.x hosts. For information on ESX 3.0x or ESX 3.5.x hosts, see Determining detailed build number information for VMware ESX 3.0.x and 3.5.x hosts (1001179).

Solution

VMware ESX hosts are patched according to a model where each patch bundle only updates a few components of the ESX installation at a time. Not all components of the installation are upgraded during each patch installation. When a patch is applied, the build number of the updated components changes. As a result, the ESX installation can have different components at different build numbers, depending upon which patch bundles have been applied.

You can view the build number for different components of upgraded versions of ESX 4.0.x. This article provides instructions on how to determine the build number of:
  • The system level
  • The build number
  • The patches applied to the host
  • The currently installed RPMs
  • The host agent component
  • RPMs and VIBs in patches before installation
  • RPMs and VIBs in patches after installation
  • RPM in a specific bulletin
For more information on how to determine the build number of other VMware products, see Determining VMware Software Version and Build Number (392)
 

To determine the system level of an ESX 4.0 host:

 
Note: This displays the build number of the latest update applied (for example, ESX 4.0.0 Update 1):
  1. Log in to the ESX service console.
  2. At the command prompt, run the command:

    # vmware -l

    Typical output is similar to: 

    #VMware ESX 4.0.0 Update 1


    The system level base installation of the ESX host will be displayed in the query output. This is the system level with no updates applied.

To determine the build number of an ESX 4.0.x host:

Note: This displays the build number of ESX. The build number for ESX changes for any GA (general availability) or update release (like ESX 4.0 Update 1). Because patch releases do not deliver a vmware-esx-vmware-release rpm, they do not affect the build number displayed by vmware -v.
  1. Log in to the ESX service console.
  2. At the command prompt, run the command:

    #vmware -v

    Typical output is similar to:

    #VMware ESX 4.0.0 build-208167

To determine the patches or updates applied on the host:

  1. Log in to the ESX service console.
  2. At the command prompt, run the command:

    #esxupdate query

    Lines in the output indicate the names and of patches that might have been applied after the original installation. Typical output is similar to:

    ----Bulletin ID---- -----Installed----- -------------Summary-------------
    ESX400-200906401-BG 2009-07-08T18:02:49 Updates VMX
    ESX400-200906412-BG 2009-07-08T18:02:49 Updates esxupdate
    ESX400-200906404-BG 2009-07-08T18:02:49 Updates CIM

To view the build numbers of all RPMs currently installed on the ESX host: 

  1. Log in to the ESX service console.
  2. At the command prompt, type:

    rpm -qa | grep -i vmware

    This method reports build numbers for all ESX components (RPMs) including VMX, host agent, VMkernel, drivers, and so on.  

To view the current build number of the host agent component:

  1. Log in to the ESX host using the VI Client.
  2. Choose Help > About Vmware vSphere

    Note: In ESX 4.0, the packages are called VIBs (vSphere Installation Bundle). The VIB name contains details about the RPMs, including the versions.

To view the build numbers of RPMs and VIB details contained in a patch bundle before it is installed:

  1. Download the patch bundle zip files as described in the patch bundle installation instructions.
  2. Before installing the patch, change to the directory that you use as your esxupdate repository. For example, if your repository is located at /var/updates, type:

    #cd /var/updates
     
  3. At the command prompt, type:

    #esxupdate --bundle .zip info

    Where  represents the name of patch bundle.

To view the build numbers of RPMs and VIB details contained in a patch bundle after it is installed:

  1. Log in to the ESX Server service console.
  2. At the command prompt, type:

    # esxupdate info


    This command lists all the VIBs.

To view the build numbers of RPMs in a specific bulletin contained in a patch bundle after it is installed.

  1. Log in to the ESX Server service console.

At the command prompt, type:

# esxupdate info -b

Where  represents the name of the bulletin you are reviewing, such as ESX400-200906413-BG.

Sample output for the command: esxupdate info -b :

Id

- ESX400-200906413-BG

Releasedate

- 2009-07-09T00:00:00-08:00

Vendor

- VMware, Inc.

Summary

- Updates vmkernel iSCSI Driver

Severity

- critical

Category

- critical

Installdate

- 2009-07-02T16:25:56.709691+05:30

Description

- This patch fixes an issue where iSCSI targets might disappear during controller fault or failover of an EqualLogic array. Currently, this issue has only been observed on EQL hardware. However it might not be specific to EQL arrays. Please see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012232 for more details

Kburl

-http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012232

List of constituent VIBs:

-rpm_vmware-esx-iscsi_4.0.0-0.5.175625@i386
rpm_vmware-hostd-esx_4.0.0-0.5.175625@i386


Another method of finding out the information above is using vSphere PowerCLI.

To determine the system level and build number of an ESX 4.0 host using PowerCLI:
  1. Open the PowerCLI command prompt.
  2. Connect to the ESX or ESXi host which reported the warning using the command:

    Connect-VIServer -Server 

    Note: Authenticate using an administrative user, such as root. 

  3. Run this command:
         get-view -ViewType HostSystem -Property Name, Config.Product | select Name,{$_.Config.Product.FullName},{$_.Config.Product.Build} | ft -auto
 
To determine the patches or updates applied on the host, run this command:

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostPatch | Select Id,InstallDate,Description | ft -auto

Based on VMware KB 1012514

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