Upgrade your ESXi vmtool isos

Need to update the vmtools in your ESXI 4.0 server?

You can download the ESXI 4.1 ISO updates free from VMware. Log in/Register at https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/index.php and then look for “VMware Tools CD image for Linux Guest OSes” and download the ISO image.

You will have need to enabled SSH on your ESXi host before this – as well have enough disk space to accomodate this file. The new linux.iso is more then 2X the old and I had to pull all of the unused iso’s (linux.iso, freebsd.iso, netware.iso, solaris.iso, and winPre2k.iso) off my ESXi host to make room.

Once I have replaced linux.iso with the new file, a new file signature also needs to be generated.

I did not find the original private key this was signed with, but its easy to generate a new private/public key pair and resign all iso’s if needed.

You will find the iso images in the following directory:


Using openssl you can generate the private key:

openssl genrsa -out tools-priv.pem 2048

using the private key you just generated, we can now recreate the tools-key.pub that ESXi verfies the iso images against:

mv tools-key.pub tools-key.pub.orig
openssl rsa -in tools-priv.pem -pubout -out tools-key.pub

Now we can recreate the linux.iso.sig

openssl dgst -sha1 -sign tools-priv.pem < linux.iso > linux.iso.sig

Now you should be able to install/upgrade all of your Vmtool’s with this latest and greatest version.