VMware Cloud Foundation 4.x Offline Bundle Transfer

April 08, 2021

Using VMware Cloud Foundation to download and install updates is great, but what do you do if SDDC Manager cannot get to the Internet?  Offline Bundle Transfer is the answer.  In this blog post we will walk through the offline bundle download process in the event you have no internet connectivity for the SDDC Manager.

1.  Windows or Linux box
2. Bundle Transfer Utility & Skip Level Upgrade Tool from my.vmware.com
3.  Secure FTP Application
4.  Transfer Utility 

Note that I used Windows and some of the commands might change slightly when using Linux.  In my example I will be using c:\offlinebundle as my main location.  When extracting the Bundle Transfer Utility you will have a \bin, \conf, and \lib folder.  Place these inside c:\offlinebundle.

If running VCF 4.2 start here.  

VCF 4.2 uses a manifest file that must be downloaded first and then uploaded to the SDDC Manager before proceeding.  

From your Windows machine, open up an administrative command prompt and run the following to download the 4.2 manifest file. Note that you will have to change the username and password to your my.vmare.com credentials.  

c:\offlinebundle\bin\lcm-bundle-transfer-util --download -manifestDownload --outputDirectory c:\offlinebundle --depotUser user@vmware.com -depotUserPassword userpass

This downloads a file called "lcmManifestv1.json" and places that file in the c:\offlinebundle folder.

Next we use our transfer utility (I used WinSCP) to transfer the lcmManifestv1.json to the SDDC Manager.  I will be putting all of the files in /home/vcf.  When logging into the SDDC Manager you will be using the account “VCF” and whatever password you configured for that account during deployment.

Once transferred, right click on the lcmManifestv1.json file and go to properties.  Change the Permissions section to an Octal value of 7777.  The other way you could do that is from the SDDC Manager using Putty with the following command:

chmod 7777 /home/vcf/lcmManifestv1.json

Once transferred to SDDC Manager, we need to ingest this manifest file into the manger.  Using your secure FTP utility (I used Putty) log into the SDDC Manager with the username of VCF.  Once logged in do the following (FQDN will need to be updated with yours):

/opt/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm-tool/bin/./lcm-bundle-transfer-util --updae --sourceManifestDirectory /home/vcf/ --sddcMgrFqdn sddc-manager.vcf.sddc.lab --sddcMgrUser administrator@vsphere.local

All 4.x Versions

If you are running 4.0 or 4.1, this is where you want to begin your offline bundle journey.  Putty into your SDDC Manager VM, then run:

/opt/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm-tools/bin/./lcm-bundle-transfer-util --generateMarker

These marker files will be created in /home/vcf. Using WinSCP, move the files from SDDC Manager to your windows c:\offlinebundle directory.

First we are going to list the bundles that I am interested in.  To get a list of available bundles for 4.2 I would use:

c:\offlinebundle\bin\lcm-bundle-transfer-util -download -l -p -depotUser user@vmware.com

image 48

From your Windows admin prompt we are now going to download the bundles:

If you wanted to target a a specific bundle you could use a -b and then include the bundle ID.  In our example I will be downloading all of the bundles associated with  Press "y" to begin the downloads.

c:\offlinebundle\bin\lcm-bundle-transfer-util -download -p -outputDirectory c:\offlinebundle -depotUser user@vmware.com -markerFile c:\offlinebundle\markerfile -markerMd5File c:\offlinebundle\markerFile.md5

image 50

Bundles will download into the specified output directory.  In my example I have a new "bundles" folder under c:\offlinebundle.  

Next using WinSCP transfer the entire c:\offlinebundle folder up to SDDC Manager into the /nfs/vmware/vcf/nfs-mount/ directory. When complete it should look like this:

We need to change the permissions on this folder.  You can either right click on the /nfs/vmware/vcf/nfs-mount/offlinebundle, go to properties, then change the Octal value to 7777 or from putty:

/nfs/vmware/vcf/nfs-mount/chmod -R 7777 offlinebundle/

The final step is to ingest the bundles into SDDC Manager.  We do that by doing the following:

cd /opt/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm-tools/bin/./lcm-bundle-transfer-util -upload -bundleDirectory /nfs/vmware/vcf/nfs-mount/offlinebundle/

If you now log into the SDDC Manager GUI you will see the bundles start to be ingested.  Once complete, you should be able to update your environment as needed.

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Matt Jones

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Matt is a Solutions Architect at VMware and spends most of his time working with customers around vSAN and VCF. Matt's experience includes working as a Virtualization Engineer as well as a Solutions Architect for a large partner. To find more information from Matt please check out https://favoritevmguy.com.