Upgrade paths for ESX/ESXi hosts


There are several methods to upgrade ESX/ESXi. This article outlines the available upgrade paths.   Note: This is not a comprehensive guide on how to upgrade ESX/ESXi. For more information on performing an upgrade, see the links in this article.


This table lists the methods available to upgrade your ESX/ESXi host, and identifies the version to which you can upgrade:

ESX/ESXi version that is currently installed Version that it can be upgraded to CD-ROM Installation Wizard *1 Using esxupdate from the Service Console *2 vSphere Remote CLI *3 Host Update Utility or Infrastructure Update *4 Update Manager *5 Offline Upgrade from Service Console *6
ESX 2.x ESX 3.0.x x x
ESX 3.0.x ESX 3.0.3, 3.0.3 U1, 3.5, 3.5 U1 – U5 x x
ESX 3.0.2 ESX 4.0 x x
ESX 3.0.3 ESX 3.5, 3.5 U1 – U5 x x x
ESX 3.0.3 ESX 4.0 x x x
ESX 3.5 ESX 3.5 U1 – U5 x x x x
ESX 3.5 ESX 4.1 x x
ESXi 3.5 ESXi 3.5 U1 – U5 x x x
ESX 3.5 ESX 4.0 x x x
ESXi 3.5 ESXi 4.0 x x
ESXi 3.5 ESXi 4.1 x
ESX 4.0 ESX 4.0 U1 – U2 x x x
ESX 4.0 ESX 4.1 x x x x
ESXi 4.0 ESXi 4.0 U1 – U2 x x x
ESXi 4.0 ESXi 4.1 x x

For more information about upgrading using:

Note: The Host Update Utility replaced Infrastructure Update and is available when you install the vSphere Client. It is a tool for upgrading ESX/ESXi hosts from 3.x to 4.0.x and for patching ESXi hosts only.  Patching ESX with this utility is not supported.  Also, as of vSphere 4.1 the Host Update Utility has been discontinued.

Related articles:

The information in this article is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. This article does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my opinion.


Marco works for ViaData as a Senior Technical Consultant. He has over 15 years experience as a system engineer and consultant, specialized in virtualization. VMware VCP4, VCP5-DC & VCP5-DT. VMware vExpert 2013, 2014,2015 & 2016. Microsoft MCSE & MCITP Enterprise Administrator. Veeam VMSP, VMTSP & VMCE.