Patching and Upgrading vCloud Director 9.7+ Appliance

Update 23/09/2019: The same process can be used to upgrade vCloud Director appliance to version 10. You can also use VMware patch repository if your appliances have internet connectivity. To reset the repo location from local to VMware provided just use the following command:

vamicli update –repo “”

vCloud Director patch has just been released and it is the first opportunity to patch the appliance edition of vCloud Director. Let me describe the process.

I have three appliance deployment with each node running the embedded database in active – standby – standby configuration. While in theory you could treat the appliance as regular Linux deployment and use the same patching process that was used for years by simply running vmware-vcloud-director-distribution-9.7.0-13635483.bin this would not patch just the vCloud Director binaries, but not the appliance packages. Therefore we must follow completely different process.

It should also be noted that currently we cannot use the automated orchestrated upgrade procedure or appliance UI. Hopefully both will come in the future as the appliance version matures.

Download the Appliance upgrade file: VMware_vCloud_Director_9.7.0.4264-13635483_update.tar.gz and unpack it to a transfer directory that is available to all the cells.

mkdir /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/update

tar xzf VMware_vCloud_Director_9.7.0.4264-13635483_update.tar.gz -C /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/update

Now on each cell we will have to set the repo, check if we need to update, shutdown the vCloud Director service and patch.

vamicli update –repo file:///opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/update/

vamicli update –check

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin/cell-management-tool -u administrator cell -s

vamicli update –install latest

Note that during the whole process that embedded database is still running on each node, so until the vcd service shutdown of the last node the vCloud Director is still functional.

Once the last node is patched we can upgrade the database schema. Before we do that we will make a database backup. This is done from the primary DB node (which node is primary can be checked at the vCD Database Availability UI running on each node on port 5480).


The backup is created in the pgdb-backup folder in the transfer share (e.g. /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/pgdb-backup/db-backup-2019-05-20-090502.tgz).

Now we can finally proceed with the database schema upgrade:


If everything went right we can start vcd service on each cell and enjoy our updated vCloud Director instance.

service-vmware vcd start


3 thoughts on “Patching and Upgrading vCloud Director 9.7+ Appliance

  1. Hi Tom,

    Upgrade from to

    vamicli update –repo file:///opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/update

    throws the following error:

    Failure: Unknown Error
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/opt/vmware/bin/vamicli”, line 771, in
    File “/opt/vmware/bin/vamicli”, line 763, in main
    }[ sys.argv[1] ](sys.argv)
    File “/opt/vmware/bin/vamicli”, line 617, in handleUpdateRequests
    print (_(‘\nFailure: “‘) + opts[2] + _(‘” is not a supported argument.’))
    UnicodeDecodeError: ‘ascii’ codec can’t decode byte 0xe2 in position 0: ordinal not in range(128)

    Any hints on that?

    Thank You

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