You can configure vSphere Lifecycle Manager to use a shared repository as a source for downloading ESXi images, vendor add-ons, and additional components.

You cannot use folders on a network drive as a shared repository. vSphere Lifecycle Manager does not download updates from folders on a network share in the Microsoft Windows Uniform Naming Convention form (such as \\Computer_Name_or_Computer_IP\Shared), or on a mapped network drive (for example, Z:\).

The downloading of updates takes place at configurable regular intervals. To initiate downloading of updates regardless of the download schedule, see Synchronize the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot.


  • Create a shared repository by using UMDS and host the repository on a Web server or a local disk. For detailed information about exporting the upgrades, update binaries, and update metadata in Export the Downloaded Data.
  • Verify that UMDS is of version compatible with the version of vSphere Lifecycle Manager that you are using. For more information about compatibility, see Compatibility Between UMDS and vSphere Lifecycle Manager.
  • Required privileges: VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager.Configure.


  1. Navigate to the vSphere Lifecycle Manager home view.
    1. In the vSphere Client, select Menu > Lifecycle Manager.
    2. Select a vCenter Server system from the Lifecycle Manager drop-down menu.
      The drop-down menu is available only when multiple vCenter Server systems are connected by a common vCenter Single Sign-On domain. By selecting a vCenter Server system, you specify which vSphere Lifecycle Manager instance you want to administer.
  2. On the Settings tab, select Administration > Patch Setup.
  3. Click the Change Download Source button.
    The Change Download Source Type dialog box opens.
  4. Select the Download patches from a UMDS shared repository option and enter a path or URL address to the shared repository.
    For example, C:\repository_path\, https://repository_path/ or http://repository_path/.

    In these examples, repository_path is the path to the folder with the exported downloaded upgrades, patches, extensions, and notifications. In an environment where vSphere Lifecycle Manager does not have direct access to the Internet, but is connected to a physical machine that has access to the Internet, the folder can be on a Web server.

    You can specify an HTTP or HTTPS address, or a location on the disk where vSphere Lifecycle Manager runs. HTTPS addresses are supported without any authentication.

  5. Click Save.
    vCenter Server validates the URL. You can use the path to the shared repository only when the validation is successful. If the validation fails, vSphere Lifecycle Manager reports a reason for the failure.
    Important: If the updates in the folder that you specify are downloaded with a UMDS version that is not compatible with the vCenter Server version that you use, the validation fails and you receive an error message.


The shared repository is used as the main source for downloading software updates. Downloading from the repository is enabled by default.

Example: Using a Folder or a Web Server as a Shared Repository

You can use a folder or a Web server as a shared repository.

  • When you use a folder as a shared repository, repository_path is the path to the top-level directory that stores the patches and notifications exported from UMDS.

    For example, use UMDS to export the patches and notifications to the F:\ drive, which is a drive mapped to a plugged-in USB device on the physical machine where UMDS is installed. Then, plug in the USB device to the physical machine where vSphere Lifecycle Manager runs. The device is mapped as E:\ and the folder to configure as a shared repository for vSphere Lifecycle Manager is E:\.

  • When you use a Web server as a shared repository, repository_path is the path to the top-level directory on the Web server that stores the patches exported from UMDS.

    For example, export the patches and notifications from UMDS to C:\docroot\exportdata. If the folder is configured on a Web server and is accessible from other physical machines at the URL https://umds_host_name/exportdata, the URL to configure as a shared repository in vSphere Lifecycle Manager is https://umds_host_name/exportdata.