The Difference Between An ESXi Patch, Express Patch, and Update

ESXi patches, express patches, and updates can be obtained from: https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/patch

Understanding the difference between an ESXi patch, express patch, and update:

  • An update is a service pack with many fixes included.
  • An express patch is a small service pack with a few dozen updates.
  • A patch is a single update.

So, essentially, there is nothing significantly different between the three.

Review the following blog entry to understand the cumulative capabilities of the update files: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2013/10/are-esxi-patches-cumulative.html

In short, every ESXi update/express patch/patch is cumulative as long as you apply it as such. To achieve this when patching from the command line, use the “esxcli software vib update -d <patch archive>” command, where <patch archive> is the path to the ESXi file that you downloaded from my.vmware.com and then uploaded to your ESXi server’s datastore.