The new way to patch the vCenter Server Appliance 6

The patching process in vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) version 6 is changed from previous versions. It is not possible anymore to use the Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) and update the appliance using the User Interface. The new way to patch the vCenter Server Appliance involves the following steps:

  • Download the patch from the VMware Patch Download Center, link.
  • Choose vc and select version 6.x
  • Download the latest patch ISO


  • Attach the *.ISO to the vCenter Server Appliance.
  • Open a console session or SSH (SSH must be enabled) to the appliance. In the console session press ALT + F1 and login.


  • Stage the ISO using the following command
software-packages stage --iso  --acceptEulas
  • See the staged content
software-packages list --staged
  • Install the staged content
software-packages install --staged
  • Reboot the appliance
shutdown reboot -r
  • After the reboot check the new vCenter Server Appliance build version

vcsa version

The easy updating process that was used in the vCenter Server Appliance 5.x is gone. The new update process involves more manually steps. We hoping that the easy updating will return in further releases of the vCenter Server Appliance.


What’s new in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6.0

What’s new in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6.0:

  • ISO with an easy guided Installer
  • Different deployment options possible during the guided installer such as:
    • Install vCenter Server
    • Install Platform Services Controller
    • Install vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Controller (default)
  • Scripted install. Values can be specified in a template file
  • Embedded vPostgres database. As external database Oracle is supported.
  • IPv6 Support
  • Enhanced Linked mode support
  • VMware Data Protection (VDP) support for backup and recovery
  • Based on a hardened Suse Linux Enterprise 11 SP3 (64-bit)
  • The minimum (Up to 20 hosts and 400 VMs) appliance requirements for the VCSA are:
    • 2 vCPU
    • 8 GB memory
    • ~ 100 GB diskspace
  • Is has the same feature parity as vCenter Windows:


What are we missing:

  • Still no Microsoft SQL database support.
  • Possibility to separate roles of the vCenter
  • VMware Update Manager is not included in the appliance. Still need an additional Windows Server for VMware Update Manager (VUM)
  • Clustering of the vCenter Server Appliance


2015-02-02_11h45_45 2015-02-02_11h46_18 database IP psc single size vcsa console


Unable to connect from the vSphere Client or PowerCLI on Windows XP or Windows 2003 to a vCenter Server 5.5

In my lab environment I still have a Windows XP with the vSphere Client 5.5 installed. When I try to connect with the vSphere Client or vSphere PowerCLI it faisl to connect to the vCenter Server 5.5 or vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5. The following errors appears (The OS has a Dutch language installed):


PowerCLI error:


In the release notes of vSphere 5.5 this is a known issue:

vSphere 5.5 uses the Open SSL library, which, for security, is configured by default to accept only connections that use strong cipher suites. On Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, the vSphere Client and vSphere PowerCLI do not use strong cipher suites to connect with vCenter Server. The error No matching cipher suite is shown on the server side, and the handshake fails on the vSphere Client or vSphere PowerCLI side.

There are three workarounds for this:

  • Using Windows hotfixes on the Windows XP / 2003 OS
  • Adjusting the vCenter Server configuration
  • Adjusting the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) configuration

In the following steps I will  adjust the vCenter Server Appliance configuration:

  • Open a SSH connection to the VCSA
  • login the appliance (by default this is root and with the passsword vmware)
  • Navigate to the /etc/vmware-vpx directory
  • Edit the vpxd.cfg file with for example the VI editor (i = insert)
  • Add the following <cipherList>ALL</cipherList> between the <ssl> section (see screenshot below):




  • Save the changes and quit the VI editor  (wq!)
  • Restart the vCenter Server service by using the following command: “service vmware-vpxd restart

After the modification I was able to use the vSphere Client and PowerCLI to connect to the vCenter Server Appliance.


For more information see KB article 2049143 found here, link