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VMware: “Failed to read the upgrade package metadata.xml” upgrading to ESXi 4.1

I was upgrading my ESXi 4.0 Update 2 host to ESXi 4.1 with “VMware vSphere Host Update Utility”, I downloaded the “ESXi 4.1 (upgrade ZIP from ESXi 4.0)” file and selected this package to upgrade the host. After validating the upgrade package I received this error:

Failed to read the upgrade package metadata: Could not find file metadata.xml


I’ve checked the MD5 checksum.. it was correct.. I downloaded again the upgrade package from the VMware site.. still this warning..


ESXi doesn’t support SSH shell or, but there is a “hack” to connect the console or connect over SSH for the command line interface. Check:

With my VI Client I connected the datastore and uploaded the upgrade package in a new created folder called: “upgrade”


– Put the ESXi host in maintenance mode ^


– Connect the console and browse the /vmfs/volumes/[datastore01]/upgrade/ path^


– Give the command: “esxupdate update –m” and the upgrade from ESXi 4.0 Update 2 to ESXi 4.1 will be installed.. reboot your host ^



My ESXi4.0 U2 is succesfully upgraded to ESXi 4.1 😀


More information: VMware


Sander Daems is founder and author of this blog and working as a Lead (Sr.) Consultant by UNICA ICT Solutions. Sander has over 15 years experience in IT, primary focus: virtualization and modern worksplace.

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  1. Guy
    July 15th, 2010  (Quote) at 08:10  (Quote) | #1

    The other way is using the CLi tools and vihostupdate

    Full update guide availabe to download @

    1 Download the following upgrade ZIP bundle from the VMware Web site to a location that is accessible to the vSphere CLI machine.

    The upgrade ZIP bundle contains and esxupdate bulletin and an upgrade bulletin.

    2 Power off any virtual machines that are running on the host and place the host into maintenance mode.

    3 Install the esxupdate bulletin by running the following command on the vSphere CLI machine.

    vihostupdate –server host name or IP address -i -b location of the ESXi upgrade ZIP bundle -B ESXi410-GA-esxupdate

    4 Install the upgrade bulletin by running the following command on the vSphere CLI machine.

    vihostupdate –server host name or IP address -i -b location of the ESXi upgrade ZIP bundle -B ESXi410-GA

    5 Verify that the bulletins are installed on the ESXi host by running the following command. –server host name or IP address –query

    6 Reboot the host.

  2. David
    July 16th, 2010  (Quote) at 16:57  (Quote) | #2

    Worked a treat … Thanks 🙂

  3. July 16th, 2010  (Quote) at 17:51  (Quote) | #3

    Thanks for the guide, it just saved me many hours 🙂

    It also works from 4.0.0 -> 4.1.0
    Just so you know

    A. Mikkeslen

  4. Anders
    July 17th, 2010  (Quote) at 17:30  (Quote) | #4

    Worked flawlessly. Thanks!

  5. July 24th, 2010  (Quote) at 15:28  (Quote) | #5


  6. Josh
    August 19th, 2010  (Quote) at 03:56  (Quote) | #6

    Workd perfectly! THANKS!

  7. MFH
    August 27th, 2010  (Quote) at 23:29  (Quote) | #7

    Thank you!

  8. FV
    September 16th, 2010  (Quote) at 21:29  (Quote) | #8

    Ok, workaroud, yehaaa…

    It is still a problem.
    Why the f*** (/&/&(/¤%/(¤&)% doesn’t VMware fix this issue????

  9. TG
    September 16th, 2010  (Quote) at 23:27  (Quote) | #9

    goog good 🙂

  10. September 21st, 2010  (Quote) at 09:55  (Quote) | #10

    I love this blog! Thanks for this solution

  11. Guy L.
    September 21st, 2010  (Quote) at 16:18  (Quote) | #11

    Yes i agree, why does’nt VMWare fix this? what the use is a host update utility if you cant use it.
    Thank God there is CLI.

  12. Hamish
    September 24th, 2010  (Quote) at 13:02  (Quote) | #12

    Excellent workaround, thank you. I’ll be home before midnight! 🙂

  13. Chad
    October 5th, 2010  (Quote) at 03:06  (Quote) | #13

    Thanks so much, this worked wonders 4.0 -> 4.1

  14. Bjorn
    October 8th, 2010  (Quote) at 20:56  (Quote) | #14

    I couldnt get it to work on win7. ignored -s as input for server.

    But when I set VI_SERVER= and left out the -s switch it worked fine … its free, but damn its dodgy!

  15. November 14th, 2010  (Quote) at 15:38  (Quote) | #15

    Hey man, awesome posting thanks for saving me the pain of trying to get this working.

  16. Aamir
    November 19th, 2010  (Quote) at 03:40  (Quote) | #16

    Very Good Information.Thank you

  17. cwysocki
    January 28th, 2011  (Quote) at 16:47  (Quote) | #17

    Thank You!

  18. Stephen Shoup
    February 21st, 2011  (Quote) at 00:36  (Quote) | #18

    You RAWK!!!

  19. Carlos
    March 28th, 2011  (Quote) at 18:30  (Quote) | #19

    Awsome!! work as a charm. Many thanks!

  20. rafael
    May 10th, 2011  (Quote) at 22:01  (Quote) | #20

    Awesome! Thanks a bunch. Worked for me1

  21. Andre Lombard
    May 19th, 2011  (Quote) at 22:54  (Quote) | #21

    Thank you. This worked for me to upgrade from v4.0 to v4.1-Update1. I had physical access to the host, so I used the console there. Alt-F1, then type “unsupported”, then you’ll be prompted for a password.

  22. Jeff
    July 26th, 2011  (Quote) at 22:59  (Quote) | #22

    SWEET. Worked great. I am a newbie to VM, so the console (alt f1 – type “unsupported” blind) threw me, but got it. VM should have this posted, very easy.

  23. February 6th, 2012  (Quote) at 20:27  (Quote) | #23

    Thanks, worked a treat!

  24. APEX IT
    January 9th, 2013  (Quote) at 23:12  (Quote) | #24

    This worked for 4.0.0 to 4.0.0_update4 package. Thanks so much. Very Frustrating trying to get the Host Update Utility to succeed at anything.
    Thanks and Cheers!

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