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VMware ESXi: working around “[Errno 28] No space left on device” when updating (especially when booting from USB-stick)

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/05/06

A while ago, I had this error while upgrading an ESXi 6.7 system:

# esxcli system maintenanceMode get
Enabled
# esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-
index.xml
 [InstallationError]
 [Errno 28] No space left on device
       vibs = VMware_locker_tools-light_11.2.5.17337674-17700514
 Please refer to the log file for more details.

This seems to be kind of a known issue, especially on systems that boot from USB sticks (see [Archive.is] “ESXi” “[Errno 28] No space left on device” – Google Search). Despites these sticks having gotten larger over time, VMware uses very little storage on them, so runs out of storage spice while processing installs from the depot.

This is kind of disappointing, and with the ever growing updates, the only workaround is to download an offline bundle, then install it.

Below I will explain how to get the offline bundle, as it involves a few more steps all aimed at this simple installation of the offline bundle file:

# esxcli system maintenanceMode get
Enabled
# esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard -d /vmfs/volumes/EVO860_500GB/OfflineBundles/ESXi670-202103001.zip 
Update Result
   Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
   Reboot Required: true
   VIBs Installed: VMW_bootbank_ixgben_1.7.1.16-2vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_lpfc_11.4.33.26-14vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000_8.0.3.1-5vmw.670.3.112.16701467, VMW_bootbank_net-vmxnet3_1.1.3.0-3vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_nfnic_4.0.0.44-0vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_ntg3_4.1.5.0-0vmw.670.3.116.16713306, VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.2.28-4vmw.670.3.132.17167734, VMW_bootbank_qfle3f_1.0.25.0.2-15vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_sfvmk_1.0.0.1003-7vmw.670.3.104.16075168, VMW_bootbank_vmkusb_0.1-1vmw.670.3.143.17700523, VMW_bootbank_vmw-ahci_2.0.7-2vmw.670.3.143.17700523, VMware_bootbank_cpu-microcode_6.7.0-3.139.17700514, VMware_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so_11.4.1184.2-3.89.15160138, VMware_bootbank_esx-base_6.7.0-3.143.17700523, VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.33.7-15803439, VMware_bootbank_esx-update_6.7.0-3.143.17700523, VMware_bootbank_native-misc-drivers_6.7.0-3.89.15160138, VMware_bootbank_vmware-esx-esxcli-nvme-plugin_1.2.0.36-2vmw.670.3.116.16713306, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.7.0-3.143.17661912, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.7.0-3.143.17665851, VMware_locker_tools-light_11.2.5.17337674-17700514
   VIBs Removed: VMW_bootbank_ixgben_1.7.1.16-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_lpfc_11.4.33.25-14vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000_8.0.3.1-5vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-vmxnet3_1.1.3.0-3vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nfnic_4.0.0.29-0vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_ntg3_4.1.3.2-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_nvme_1.2.2.28-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_qfle3f_1.0.25.0.2-14vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sfvmk_1.0.0.1003-6vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_vmkusb_0.1-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_vmw-ahci_1.2.8-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMware_bootbank_cpu-microcode_6.7.0-2.69.14141615, VMware_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so_11.4.1184.1-2.48.13006603, VMware_bootbank_esx-base_6.7.0-3.73.14320388, VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.33.4-14093553, VMware_bootbank_esx-update_6.7.0-3.73.14320388, VMware_bootbank_native-misc-drivers_6.7.0-2.48.13006603, VMware_bootbank_vmware-esx-esxcli-nvme-plugin_1.2.0.36-2.48.13006603, VMware_bootbank_vsan_6.7.0-3.73.14263135, VMware_bootbank_vsanhealth_6.7.0-3.73.14263064, VMware_locker_tools-light_10.3.10.12406962-14141615
   VIBs Skipped: VMW_bootbank_ata-libata-92_3.00.9.2-16vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-amd_0.3.10-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-atiixp_0.4.6-4vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-cmd64x_0.2.5-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-hpt3x2n_0.3.4-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-pdc2027x_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-serverworks_0.4.3-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-sil680_0.4.8-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ata-pata-via_0.3.3-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_block-cciss_3.6.14-10vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_bnxtnet_20.6.101.7-24vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_bnxtroce_20.6.101.0-20vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_brcmfcoe_11.4.1078.25-14vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_char-random_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ehci-ehci-hcd_1.0-4vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_elxiscsi_11.4.1174.0-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_elxnet_11.4.1097.0-5vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_hid-hid_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_i40en_1.8.1.9-2vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_iavmd_1.2.0.1011-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_igbn_0.1.1.0-5vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_ima-qla4xxx_2.02.18-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-devintf_39.1-5vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-msghandler_39.1-5vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_ipmi-ipmi-si-drv_39.1-5vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_iser_1.0.0.0-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_lpnic_11.4.59.0-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_lsi-mr3_7.708.07.00-3vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt2_20.00.06.00-2vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt35_09.00.00.00-5vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_lsi-msgpt3_17.00.02.00-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_misc-cnic-register_1.78.75.v60.7-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_misc-drivers_6.7.0-2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_mtip32xx-native_3.9.8-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_ne1000_0.8.4-2vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nenic_1.0.29.0-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2_2.2.4f.v60.10-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-bnx2x_1.78.80.v60.12-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-cdc-ether_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-cnic_1.78.76.v60.13-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-e1000e_3.2.2.1-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-enic_2.1.2.38-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-fcoe_1.0.29.9.3-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-forcedeth_0.61-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-igb_5.0.5.1.1-5vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-ixgbe_3.7.13.7.14iov-20vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-libfcoe-92_1.0.24.9.4-8vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-core_1.9.7.0-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-mlx4-en_1.9.7.0-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-nx-nic_5.0.621-5vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-tg3_3.131d.v60.4-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_net-usbnet_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_nhpsa_2.0.22-3vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-core_3.17.13.1-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-en_3.17.13.1-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nmlx4-rdma_3.17.13.1-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nmlx5-core_4.17.13.1-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_nmlx5-rdma_4.17.13.1-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMW_bootbank_nvmxnet3-ens_2.0.0.21-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_nvmxnet3_2.0.0.29-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_ohci-usb-ohci_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_pvscsi_0.1-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_qcnic_1.0.2.0.4-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_qedentv_2.0.6.4-10vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_qfle3_1.0.50.11-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_qfle3i_1.0.2.3.9-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_qflge_1.1.0.11-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-ahci_3.0-26vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-ata-piix_2.12-10vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-nv_3.5-4vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-promise_2.12-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil24_1.1-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-sil_2.3-4vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_sata-sata-svw_2.3-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aacraid_1.1.5.1-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-adp94xx_1.0.8.12-6vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-aic79xx_3.1-6vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2fc_1.78.78.v60.8-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-bnx2i_2.78.76.v60.8-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-fnic_1.5.0.45-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-hpsa_6.0.0.84-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-ips_7.12.05-4vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-iscsi-linux-92_1.0.0.2-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-libfc-92_1.0.40.9.3-5vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-mbox_2.20.5.1-6vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid-sas_6.603.55.00-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-megaraid2_2.00.4-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mpt2sas_19.00.00.00-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptsas_4.23.01.00-10vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-mptspi_4.23.01.00-10vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_scsi-qla4xxx_5.01.03.2-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-1-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-iscsi-linux-9-2-2-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-1-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libata-9-2-2-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-1-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfc-9-2-2-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-1-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-libfcoe-9-2-2-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-1-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-2-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_shim-vmklinux-9-2-3-0_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_smartpqi_1.0.1.553-28vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMW_bootbank_uhci-usb-uhci_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_usb-storage-usb-storage_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_usbcore-usb_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_vmkata_0.1-1vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_vmkfcoe_1.0.0.1-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMW_bootbank_vmkplexer-vmkplexer_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMW_bootbank_xhci-xhci_1.0-3vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMware_bootbank_esx-dvfilter-generic-fastpath_6.7.0-0.0.8169922, VMware_bootbank_esx-xserver_6.7.0-3.73.14320388, VMware_bootbank_lsu-hp-hpsa-plugin_2.0.0-16vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMware_bootbank_lsu-intel-vmd-plugin_1.0.0-2vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-drivers-plugin_1.0.0-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-mr3-plugin_1.0.0-13vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-lsi-msgpt3-plugin_1.0.0-9vmw.670.2.48.13006603, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin_1.0.0-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMware_bootbank_lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin_2.0.0-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922, VMware_bootbank_lsu-smartpqi-plugin_1.0.0-3vmw.670.1.28.10302608, VMware_bootbank_qlnativefc_3.1.8.0-5vmw.670.3.73.14320388, VMware_bootbank_rste_2.0.2.0088-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922
# reboot

Note that I always perform a  esxcli system maintenanceMode get in order to verify the system is indeed in maintenance mode.

Steps to get the offline bundle

0. determining the profile

Actually there is a pre-step: checking which update profile is needed. I use the VMware Patch Tracker from VFrontDe, as you can subscribe through RSS (by ESXi version) Twitter (all versions) for that.

For ESXi 7, I use moved from the [Wayback] regular ESXi 6.7 patch RSS feed to the Feedly ESXi 6.7 patch RSS feed (which integrates in my daily news reading) of [Wayback] VMware ESXi 6.7 Patch History:

Keep track of VMware ESXi patches, subscribe by [Archive.is] RSS and [Archive.is] Twitter! – Brought to you by @VFrontDe

For the current (as of writing) update, it shows two out of four profiles:

  1. Imageprofile ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard (Build 17700523) … (For more information see [Wayback] Release Notes.)
  2. Imageprofile ESXi-6.7.0-20210301001s-standard (Build 17700514) … (For more information see [Wayback] Release Notes.)

There can be two more “...-no-tools” profiles as described by [Wayback] VMware ESXi Image Profiles | virten.net

Example – ESXi 5.5 Patch 2 contains 4 Image Profiles:
  1. ESXi-5.5.0-20140704001-standard – Contains all patches
  2. ESXi-5.5.0-20140704001-no-tools – Contains all patches but no VMware Tools
  3. ESXi-5.5.0-20140701001s-standard – Contains security patches only
  4. ESXi-5.5.0-20140701001s-no-tools – Contains security patches only and no VMware Tools

vSphere ESXi 6.7 Image Profiles
Image Profile ESX Build Release Date
ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard 17700523 2021-03-18
ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-no-tools 17700523 2021-03-18
ESXi-6.7.0-20210301001s-standard 17700514 2021-03-18
ESXi-6.7.0-20210301001s-no-tools 17700514 2021-03-18

Given that I my environment as complete as possible (the original ESXi install contains everything, so I do want to include the “VMware Tools“, and update the full software, nut just security issues), I opt for “###...-standard” and not for “###s...-standard“.

1. determine the download

The page [Wayback] VMware ESXi 6.7 Patch History (and similar pages for other ESXi versions) contains a tiny link in the upper left hand side named “[MyVMware Patch Download]” (I saved it in the Wayback machine) which brings you a patch search page on the VMware patch site.

The big drawback is that you need to be signed on into yout VMware account to actually see this page. The VMware account validation is implemented in a “corporate” way, so often does not work (especially when you need it, which for me often is on weekends, a period in the week that corporates seem to ar less monitor their systems than during USA work-day hours). I might sound cynical, but this set me back quite some time even trying to get an ESXi 7 license.

Here are some screenshots:

VMware HomeP/roduct Patches

VMware Home/Product Patches

The site is so corporate, that when your screen is not wide enough, the selection box is drawn outside your screen area:

VMware being very corporate: drawing selection box outside the screen area.

VMware being very corporate: drawing selection box outside the screen area.

Anyway the one ending in “and Installable” is the one we want, cutting off the other part (you are a corporate or you aren’t, right?):

"ESXi (Embedded and ..." is cut off as the layout has been designed to cut off either way.

“ESXi (Embedded and …” is cut off as the layout has been designed to cut off either way.

So for ESXi 6.7.0, when writing this, the offline bundles were these:

ESXi 6.7.0 offline bundles

ESXi 6.7.0 offline bundles (unlike the YYYYMM### release name and YYYYMM### bulletin numbers, the dates are in MM/DD/YYYY format)

Release Name Release Date Build Number Bulletin Number

ESXi670-202103001

Product:ESXi (Embedded and Installable) 6.7.0

Download Size:476.7 MB

03/18/2021

ESXi670-202103102-SG

ESXi670-202103103-SG

ESXi670-202103001

ESXi670-202103101-SG

ESXi670-202103401-BG

ESXi670-202103403-BG

ESXi670-202103402-BG

Download

So, for imageprofile ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard (Build 17700523), the release name is ESXi670-202103001 (as it matches Build Number [Wayback] 17700523).

From the above, we now have these links and numbers:

The two common parts above are:

  1. ESXi670-202103001 (both as identifier and as filename ESXi670-202103001.zip)
  2. https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/rn/esxi670-202103001.html which contains a table like this that has both a (deprecated!) md5sum and sha1sum value:
    Download Filename: ESXi670-202103001.zip
    Build: 17700523
    Download Size: 476.7 MB
    md5sum: 26f177706bce4a0432d9e8af016a5bad
    sha1checksum: 0263a25351d003d34321a062b391d9fe5c312bd2
    Host Reboot Required: Yes
    Virtual Machine Migration or Shutdown Required: Yes

 

Back to the download button, where you can validate the filename of the off-line bundle:

The Download button points to a complex URL with these parts:

  • scheme:[//authority]pathhttps://download2.vmware.com/patch/software/VUM/OFFLINE/release-767-20210316-739878/ESXi670-202103001.zip
  • [?query] is of the form ?HashKey=<32-hexadecimal-digits>&params=<URI-escaped-JSON-string>&AuthKey=<10-decimal-digits>_<32-hexadecimal-digits>
  • Sample values included in params:
    • "custnumber":"ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP==" 16-digit == padded base64 encoded customer identification
    • "sourcefilesize":"476.7+MB"
    • "dlgcode":"ESXi670-202103001"
    • "languagecode":"en"
    • "source":"PATCH"
    • "downloadtype":"manual"
    • "downloaduuid":"12345678-490a-abcd-efgh12345678" (version 4 variant 1 uuid)
    • "productname":"ESXi+(Embedded+and+Installable)"
    • "productversion":"6.7.0"

2. downloading the offline bundle file and verifying it

The steps taken until now:

  1. Find the most recent imageprofile name at [Wayback] VMware ESXi 6.7 Patch History (in my case ESXi-6.7.0-20210304001-standard)
  2. Find the “Release notes” link right under the table below it (in my case https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/rn/esxi670-202103001.html#esxi-6-7-0-20210301001s-standard-resolved)
  3. Browse to the top of that page for the table with the offline bundle identifier and filename

Now

  1. search for the filename (like [Wayback/Archive.is] “ESXi670-202103001.zip” – Google Search) to download, or get the download URL from the VMware patch site (note this URL expires usually within 20 minutes).
  2. download the file using that URL:
    # wget "download-URL" -O /vmfs/volumes/EVO860_500GB/OfflineBundles/ESXi670-202103001.zip
    Connecting to download.example.org (192.0.2.0:443)
    ESXi670-202103001.zi 100% |****************************************************************************************************************|  454M  0:00:00 ETA

    Yes, that strange IP address is for documentation purposes as you can see in [Wayback] RFC 5737 – IPv4 Address Blocks Reserved for Documentation and Reserved IP addresses – Wikipedia.

  3. verify the download with the above sha1sum (which is included in the ESXi BusyBox shell)
    # sha1sum /vmfs/volumes/EVO860_500GB/OfflineBundles/ESXi670-202103001.zip 
    0263a25351d003d34321a062b391d9fe5c312bd2  /vmfs/volumes/EVO860_500GB/OfflineBundles/ESXi670-202103001.zip
  4. shutdown all the VM’s, put the machine in maintenance mode, upgrade, verify result, reboot, put the machine out of maintenance mode, start any VM’s that should be up

[Archive.is] [OSError] [Errno 28] No space left on device even … – VMware Technology Network VMTN very importantly mentions to do a dry-run before actually upgrading:

esxcli software profile update --dry-run -p ESXi-6.7.0-20201103001-standard -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/update/ESXi670-202011001.zip

If the dry run is successful, do the update with

esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20201103001-standard -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/update/ESXi670-202011001.zip

jeroen

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