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VMware bug: Cannot upgrade to VMware 6.5.0 U1

I came across a strange little bug in VMware vCenter 6.5.0 when trying to upgrade to 6.5.0 U1 (or higher). I was using the Management interface and I tried to upgrade by using a local repository (zipped update bundle), when it wouldn't continue because the root password was going to expire soon. Ok fine, I can change that in the interface (https://vcenter_ip:5480/). But it wouldn't let me!

I kept on receiving errors whenever I tried to change the password, and I also couldn't change the password expiration policy or set it to not expire. This particular client didn't have a VMware Production subscription, so they were unable to help. I was able to find a workaround though.


To fix this error, enable SSH to your vCenter Appliance, and then SSH to it. Once on the CLI, enter these commands:

shell.set --enabled true
chage -M -1 -E -1 root

That will set the expiration policy to infinity, and you can then perform the upgrade.


VMware docs - changing expired password
VMware docs - Toggling default shell
VMware docs - how to change expiration policy (did not work for me)

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