In a VMware NSX setup, before an upgrade to ESXi 7.0 and later, make sure that the NSX kernel module is part of the image or upgrade baseline.


If your vSphere system includes VMware NSX, before you start an upgrade of your ESXi hosts to 7.0 and later from an earlier version of ESXi, you must ensure that the NSX kernel module is part of the software specification or baseline that you use for the upgrade. For this purpose, you can use the New-IsoImage PowerCLI cmdlet to create a new ISO image and perform the ESXi upgrade in your preferred way.
  • Download from VMware Customer Connect the NSX Kernel Module for VMware ESXi 7.0 zip file for the version of VMware NSX deployed in your environment. For example, for VMware NSX 4.0.1.
  • Install the PowerCLI and all prerequisite software. See vSphere ESXi Image Builder Installation and Usage.
  • Verify that you have access to the software depot that contains the software specification you want to use.


  • In a PowerCLI session, run the New-IsoImage cmdlet to generate an ISO image by passing the parameters Depots,Destination and SoftwareSpec. For example, PS C:\Users\Administrator> New-IsoImage -Depots "C:\","C:\", -Destination C:\<your new ISO image name>.iso -SoftwareSpec C:\<your file name>.json. This command creates a new ISO image by using the ESXi base image and the NSX kernel zip files, and the software specification of your desired image in a JSON file. You can use any number and combination of software depots, offline and online. For upgrades to ESXi 7.0, the New-IsoImage cmdlet preserves additional metadata for ESXi 7.0 required by the vSphere Lifecycle Manager.

What to do next

Use the new ISO image to complete the ESXi upgrade in your preferred way. For more information on vSphere Lifecycle Manager upgrade workflows, see the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle guide.