The vCloud Director appliance is a quick start method of getting familiar with vCloud Director – without the pain of having to setup a database and install the product itself. Critically, its not designed for production use, and doesn’t support upgrades. Of course, in your homelab your vCD appliance might live longer than you originally thought – and the appliance itself doesn’t come with an “upgrade” option like a production virtual appliance would – like say the vCenter Server Appliance. So I thought I would have go at upgrading vCD appliance, despite the fact its not supported. Now, you could just re-deploy – which I’ve done once between 5.1 and 5.1.1. I hadn’t got that far in my journey, so putting the car in reverse and going back a mile or two didn’t seem like such a big deal. But now I’m 6+ months in my journey, and I don’t feel like going that far back…

1. First using something like WinSCP copy the .bin file across to the appliance. You might need to enable SSH access to the appliance to do this. In my case from day one, I edit the sshd_config file to allow root to SSH directly to the appliance. Naughty I know, but hey its a homelab okay?

2. Next we need to change the permission on the .BIN file which contains the installer for the vCloud Director using chmod +X vmware-vcloud-director-5.1.2-1068441.bin

3. Next we can execute the .bin file. Before you do might want to check out KB2047922 which talks about problem with the Guest Operating System nic settings when upgrading from 1.5 to 5.1. When you run the .bin file with ./vmware-vcloud-director-5.1.2-1068441.bin you should see warning about the KB article – and the vCD installer will detect that its running on SUSE Linux (which isn’t officially supported – RHEL is the currently supported)

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4. The installer will extract itself – and then ask you if you want to upgrade.Choose [Y]

5. This should install the software, leaving you with a prompt to run the upgrade script:

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6. So, stop the vCloud Director cell with service vcd-vmware stop and then run the upgrade script (this does take sometime to respond). It does take a little time update the database schema. Along side updating the schema, you will also be asked if you want to upgrade the indexes, database statistics

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7. Once the upgrade has completed you can start the service with service vcd-vmware start. Remember it can take a wee while for the vCD service to complete – you can monitor the status by using tail -f /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/cell.log. You can check your vCD version by clicking the “about” link on the main dashboard.

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