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I have a small VMware lab setup at home that I use to test things out before work deployment. As part of this, I used the free VMware vSphere4 license. This does not include vCenter support.

Reading through the docs, it appears that the only listed upgrade path that I can find is by using the Update Manager.

Not having gone through a VMware upgrade before, I'm looking for options that will let me upgrade from 4.1 to 5 without having to resort to rebuilding the entire box.

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There's an upgrade option on 5.0's install CD, which can upgrade a 4.x host without blowing away settings and local data stores. VMware has an article here covering the upgrade options.

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I found a way to do it via command line. This requires that you have the patch available in a VMFS.

I just copied the patch zip over into a NFS datastore.

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/[PATCH_FILE].zip

Credit for figuring this out goes to this url.

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