TLDR

If you just want the commands...

software-packages stage --url
software-packages list --staged
software-packages install --staged

Assumptions

This write-up assumes you are updating from a supported version. I also assume you are not using a scale-out or LB configuration because those require special attention.

Pre-Upgrade

  • Identify which ESXi host is running the VCSA
  • Confirm healthy timesync on the ESXi host before the update
  • vSphere Client to the ESXi host (i.e. as root)
  • Snapshot the VCSA
  • Disable any scheduled tasks (i.e. external Windows PowerCLI stat collectors, etc. if any)
  • Confirm that there are no oustanding vSphere tasks in flight (i.e. perform a Get-Task from PowerCLI)
  • Close API and client connections to your VCSA
  • Keep the vSphere Client connection to the ESXi host open
  • SSH to the VCSA
  • Bash access is not required to run these commands (i.e. no need for shell.set)
  • Update the VCSA appliance to the latest with the 'software-packages' commands noted below

Updating the VCSA

Perform the following from the console or ssh.

software-packages stage --url
software-packages list --staged
software-packages install --staged

Note: The --url switch with no arguments gets the latest official bits from VMware.
This is by far the easiest way to upgrade.

Post Upgrade

  • Your putty or console session will tell you when the update is done
  • From the vSphere client connection to the ESXi host, reboot the VCSA virtual machine
  • Give the appliance at least 15 minutes to come up fully
  • Open a vSphere client connection to the VCSA and confirm all looks good
Optional

Open an API connection and confirm version, etc.

For example, in PowerCLI:

$global:DefaultVIServer | select name,version,build

You should see Version 6.0.0 and a Build of 3634794 if you used the --url switch to grab the latest. If you use the ISO or zip versions (not covered here), the build will be slightly different.

Optional

Confirm there are no outstanding vCenter Server appliance patches.

Putty to the VCSA and issue the same command we ran earlier:

software-packages stage --url

The above should return a message indicating packages are up to date.

Final Steps

  • Re-enable any scheduled tasks that were disabled (i.e. external Windows PowerCLI tasks, etc. if any)
  • Remove snapshot on VCSA
  • Close vSphere client connection to ESXi host
  • Keep your vSphere Client Connection open to the newly updated VCSA
  • Optionally, go and update your ESXi hosts to 6.0.0 Update 2 now that your vCenter supports it!
  • Enjoy!