Update the vCenter Appliance 6.5 through a proxy

The issue

Recently I had an issue while trying to update the vCenter Server appliance. Although the proxy server information was set in the VAMI, checking for available updates online failed.
As this was an update and no upgrade, I had the choice to perform the operation through the VAMI or in the CLI, and for the ease of use, I wanted to use the VAMI.

If you have never done this, the VAMI can be accessed via the vCenter IP on port 5480 per default (https://vCenterIP:5480).
Under Networking, I first verified that my proxy settings were correct.
Then I clicked on Update and selected “Check URL” in the “Check Updates” Drop-down at the right.


In the screenshot below you see that the download failed, even though my proxy settings were correct.


The solution

I eventually found a solution for the version 6 documented on a great blog by Mario (Kudos to him). So I decided to give it a try for version 6.5, and helas, it worked!

It appears that the proxy information is only set for HTTP but not for HTTPS.
In order to configure the proxy information also for HTTPS traffic, it has to enabled first.

To do so, you’ll have to open a session to the command line of the VCSA, for instance via SSH using PuTTY, using root as username and the password you defined while installing the appliance initially.

Then edit the file /etc/sysconfig/proxy:

You’ll notice that the proxy information entered in the VAMI is only configured for HTTP:

All you have to do now  is copying the value between the quotes in the line starting with HTTP_PROXY to the one below starting with HTTPS_PROXY.
(You can also copy/paste the whole line and only remove the “s” from https in the name and the URL. In vi this can be done by exiting the edit mode, then typing “y” to copy, and “p” to paste the line)

The result should be:

Save the file “wq”, then retry to connect in the VAMI. It should now be possible to connect and check for updates.

To continue the update procedure, simply select “Install All Updates” at the right:

Accept the EULA, then hit Install:

Wait for the updates to finish, then click OK and reboot the appliance:

And voilà, you’re done.


One more thing

Apparently there’s a known issue when setting the proxy information for HTTP and HTTPS, which can result in vSAN 6.6 issues, where the vSAN networking mode could be falsely identified as multicast.
At the time of writing there is no solution except removing the proxy information.
The KB can be found here.
But if you’re not using vSAN, there should be no issue leaving the information for the next updates.


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