If you, as a vSphere Administrator, regularly update a vSphere environment you should be using vSphere Update Manager. vSphere Update Manager is the tooling that VMware made so that you don’t have to install patches through the command line on each host, or do updates on each host separately! And if you’re like me and do this a lot, you will probably get a lot of errors that you need to fix. I’ve posted several blogs since we started doing this about vSphere Update Manager errors, but this below error was a pain to fix!

The other day we were trying to update hosts again but then we saw the following error in the VMware vSphere Client (Flex):

vSphere VUM GUI error that prevents upgrades!
vSphere Update Manager error in the vSphere Client (Flex)

Error in text:

So we started troubleshooting and did atleast the following, not in any particular order:

  • Reboot VCSA;
  • Restart vSphere-Client services with (service-control --stop vsphere-client and service-control --start vsphere-client);
  • Check the logging in vsphere_client_virgo.log and others;
  • Check VUM logging;
  • Restart VUM services with (service-control --stop vmware-updatemgr and service-control --start vmware-updatemgr);
  • Checked the certificates;
  • Re-registered certificates and services for the vSphere Update Manager services;
    • This is actually really easy and all you have to do is (Make sure you have a backup just in case):
      • Go to: /usr/lib/vmware-updatemgr/bin/
      • Stop the vSphere Update Manager Service: service-control --stop vmware-updatemgr
      • Run: ./updatemgr-util refresh-certs
      • Run: ./updatemgr-util register-vc
      • Start the vSphere Update Manager Service: service-control --start vmware-updatemgr

None of this actually helped. Until I found a KB on the web which sort of explained the same error we were encountering, except the wrong scenario since we’ve upgraded the vCenter a long time ago.

Now if you are encountering the same error, you should atleast have the following similar entries in the following log files:

The issue it seems lies within your vSphere Client Profile which is stored in the SerenityDB folders/files in the following folder on the VCSA:

As you can see below there are several folders in which information is recorded.

If you browse through these folders you can find your vSphere Client Profile settings for the way you “docked” certain windows, your default UI settings, your recent items and if you choose to hide them, the Getting Started pages settings.

Within these files something about the vSphere Update Manager settings is corrupted, which gives you the error you can see in this post. Why this is happening hasn’t been disclosed, but a fix is known! Just follow the below steps and you are good to go again:

And after this you can happily update your ESXi hosts again:

vSphere VUM GUI error that prevents upgrades!
vSphere Client (Flex) Update Manager

Even though this fix has been described in the VMware KB I mentioned, I couldn’t actually match the circumstances so I thought I’d make a post for you guys to explain. I hope you can fix your issue with this guide!

Update on this issue 15-11-2019

This issue seems to have been fixed for us since we’ve updated our vCenter servers to VMware vCenter Server 6.7 U2c (Build 14070654). We’ve not had this issue since we’ve upgraded. So this could possibly be a fix for you guys!


  1. Hi Bryan,

    This ‘fix’ works indeed… Until you update your vcsa, then it’s back again… And you have to do the same steps all over again.

    It’s a pity it isn’t really fixed by VMware in the meanwhile…

    Marcel Kous
    1. We haven’t updated our VCSA’s yet! So interesting to find out if it’s indeed broken again after an update. Will update the post soon with more info if I have it.
      It’s a strange issue overal because the error is not showing on all environments in the vCenter and it’s different for each user that has a profile in the Serenity DB. What was the version you updated to?

      1. It was the security patch for VCSA 6.5 (release date: July 25, 2019).
        Maybe the next update, released August 27, 2019, will bring relief.

        It’s indeed a strange issue…..
        Sometimes the error will not show up on the “Update Manager” tab when you connect to a random host in the cluster… then you can go back to another host which was broken before … and then it will work again on that host.
        Next time… not so much….

        Marcel Kous

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