Search the VMware Knowledge Base (KB)
View by Article ID

"esxupdate error code 15" error after patching an ESXi host (2016147)

  • 14 Ratings


  • When installing an extension, patch, or incompatible VIB on an ESXi host using vSphere Update Manager, the operation fails with the error:

    esxupdate error code 15

  • You may see the error:

    DEBUG: Creating an empty ImageProfile for bootbank /bootbank

  • In the /var/log/esxupdate.log file, you see entries similar to:

    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: An esxupdate error exception was caught:
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: Traceback (most recent call last):
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/usr/sbin/esxupdate", line 216, in main
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: cmd.Run()
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-469512/bora/build/esx/release/python-2.6-lib-zip-stage/469512/visor/pylib/python2.6/site-packages/vmware/esx5update/", line 144, in Run
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-469512/bora/build/esx/release/python-2.6-lib-zip-stage/469512/visor/pylib/python2.6/site-packages/vmware/esximage/", line 218, in InstallVibsFromSources
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-469512/bora/build/esx/release/python-2.6-lib-zip-stage/469512/visor/pylib/python2.6/site-packages/vmware/esximage/", line 122, in GetProfile
    esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: InstallationError: (None, 'No image profile is found on the host or image profile is empty. An image profile is required to install or remove VIBs. To install an image profile, use the esxcli image profile install command.')


To workaround this issue, reinstall the ESXi host or copy the imgdb.tgz file from the other working ESXi host


This issue occurs due to the corrupt imgdb.tgz image database file.

To verify if the imgdb.tgz file is corrupted:
  1. Connect to the ESXi host with an SSH session.
  2. Navigate to /vmfs/volumes/ with this command:

    cd /vmfs/volumes

  3. Search for the imgdb.tgz file:

    find * | grep imgdb.tgz

    Note: This command normally results in two matches. For example:


  4. Run this command on each match:

    ls -l match_result

    For example:

    ls -l 0ca01e7f-cc1ea1af-bda0-1fe646c5ceea/imgdb.tgz

    -rwx------   1 root root  26393 Jul 20 19:28 0ca01e7f-cc1ea1af-bda0-1fe646c5ceea/imgdb.tgz

  5. The default size for the imgdb.tgz file is approximately 26 KB. If one of the files is only a couple of bytes, it indicates that the file is corrupt.


To work around this issue, use one of these options: 
  • Rebuild the ESXi host.
  • Copy the imgdb.tgz file from a known good ESXi host with the same VIBs, upgrades and Patches.

    To copy the imgdb.tgz file from a ESXi host::
    1. On the working ESXi host, copy a imgdb.tgz file by running this command:

      cp /bootbank/imgdb.tgz /vmfs/volumes/shared-LUN

    2. On the corrupt host, move the imgdb.tgz file to /tmp by running this command:

      cp /vmfs/volumes/shared_LUN/imgdb.tgz /tmp
      cd /tmp
      tar -xzf imgdb.tgz

    3. Copy profile files to the profile directory by running this command:

      cp /tmp/var/db/esximg/profiles/* /var/db/esximg/profiles/

    4. Copy VIBs to the VIB repository by running this command:

      cp /tmp/var/db/esximg/vibs/* /var/db/esximg/vibs/

    5. Remove the corrupt imgdb.tgz from the bootbank by running this command:

      rm /bootbank/imgdb.tgz

    6. Move the correct imgdb.tgz file into the bootbank by running this command:

      cp /tmp/imgdb.tgz /bootbank/

    7. Backup configuration changes by running this command:


    8. Restart the ESXi host.
    9. Attempt to install or patch the host again using vSphere Update Manager.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


  • 14 Ratings

Did this article help you?
This article resolved my issue.
This article did not resolve my issue.
This article helped but additional information was required to resolve my issue.

What can we do to improve this information? (4000 or fewer characters)

Please enter the Captcha code before clicking Submit.
  • 14 Ratings