Upgrading Hardware and VMware Tools in Multiple Virtual Machines

vmwarelogoWhen upgrading from VMWare ESX server 2.x to 3.x, you have to upgrade the VMWare Tools and virtual hardware for each virtual machine manually. With Virtual Center Server, you can upgrade all managed VM’s at once with a command line tool. This article describes the command and possible parameters for vmware-vmupgrade.exe

Only virtual machines managed by VirtualCenter 2 can be upgraded.
Mass upgrades are available only for Linux and Microsoft Windows 2000 and higher
The virtual disk must be on a VMFS-3 volume
Virtual machines must be powered off. (Linux virtual machines must be shut own, rather than powered off.)

To upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware on multiple virtual machines

  1. Open the Windows command prompt. For example by going to Start -> Run -> cmd -> <ENTER>
  2. Change to the directory where the VirtualCenter Server is installed. For example by typing:
    cd C:\Program Files\VMWARE\VirtualCenter\
  3. Type the command with your desired options. Use the following command syntax:
    vmware-vmupgrade.exe -u user [-p password] [-n vmname] [-h host] [-m maxpowerons] [-o port] [-t maxpowerontime] [-s] [-q]

Description of the parameters:

-u user
Specifies a user with sufficient privileges on the target virtual machine, including VirtualMachine.Config.*, VirtualMachine.Interact.*, and VirtualMachine.Provisioning.*

-p password
Specifies a password on the command line. If this is omitted, the tool immediately prompts for a password.

-n vmname Specified the name of the virtual machine to upgrade. This name corresponds to the display name of a virtual machine. Specify multiple virtual machines using multiple -n parameters. The -n option is ignored if -h is specified.

-h host
Attempts to upgrade all the virtual machines on a particular host. Fails if the specified host is not version ESX Server 3.0 or greater.

-m maxpowerons
On a particular host, powers on only this number of virtual machines at a time.

-o port
Specifies the VirtualCenter Server port, if a port other than the default port 902 has been configured.

-t maxpowerontime
Allows a user to set the maximum amount of time for a virtual machine to be powered on in case the guest is unable to power off the machine itself. After the tools upgrade is scheduled on a virtual machine, the virtual machine is powered on and allowed to run through the tools installation process. In most cases, the guest powers down the machine automatically when the process completes.

Skips the tools and does only the virtual hardware upgrade.

Works quietly. Doesn’t produce status or completion messages on stdout

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