ESXi nVidia VIB Upgrade/Update

In the event you do what I did and upgrade your ESXi hosts to a new version (in my case, I upgraded from 5.1 U3 to 5.5), you may need to manually update custom/third part drivers (referred to as VIBs). In fact, if you had to install the VIB manually, you’ll have to manually upgrade it.

I have nVidia GRID K2 cards in my hosts and didn’t think about the drivers until after I upgraded, as I thought they would just work. Unfortunately, they are ESXi version specific. Here’s the procedure to update to the appropriate drivers:

  1. Download the correct driver version (if you’re using nVidia cards, head to nVidia’s site and grab the correct drivers)
  2. Extract the zip and upload the vib to a datastore
  3. Connect via SSH and uninstall the 5.1 vib:
    1. Run this command to get the existing installed vibs: esxcli software vib list
    2. Copy the name of the vib you want to remove. In my case it was: NVIDIA-VMware_ESXi_5.1_Host_Driver
    3. Run this command to remove the vib: esxcli software vib remove --vibname=NVIDIA-VMware_ESXi_5.1_Host_Driver
    4. You should see the result after a couple moments with a success. Run the list command again if you want to double check
  4. Install the new vib:
    1. Browse to the datastore location where you uploaded the vib (cd /vmfs/volumes/datastorex/nvidia/driver/NVIDIA-kepler-VMware_ESXi_5.5_Host_Driver_352.83-1OEM.550.0.0.1331820.vib
    2. From that location run this command to install the vib. You might not have to browse to the location first but it kept failing for me. esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastorename/nvidia_drivers/grid_esxi5.5/NVIDIA-kepler-VMwa
    3. Wait for a success then star the xorg service: /etc/init.d/xorg start
      1. This had to start 8 services (xorg0, xorg1…xorg7) for me. Not sure if that’s due to the Grid cards and if would be different on other cards
    4. You can also restart instead of just starting xorg – I do this just because it feels right 🙂




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