vCenter upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0U3g my fail with error ‘VMware tools drivers is not initialized’ if step level upgrade was performed in the past [Workaround]

Recently at a customer site encountered an issue which I didn’t see before. while initially it looked like a VMware tools drivers issue against the vCenter 6.7 appliance (Photon OS), however it was far away from that, and it can become an upgrade blocker was not in my dream either.

I tried upgrading the vCenter 6.7 to 7.0U3g and it failed at Stage1 with below error – 

After examining the logs, it was observed that installer is failing to read the OS version file from the source (6.7) appliance and unable to write the same on the target upgrade appliance 

While the catch here is that system is unable to locate a particular file /etc/SuSE-release. Now you will ask why the release file is SuSE-release when the current running appliance is on Photon OS. 

Upon knowing the upgrade history of the environment, appliance were upgraded from version 6.0  6.56.7 and now to 7.x . version 6.x had a foundation of SuSE Linux as a base OS and that lead to an existence to the file as part of data migration.

Workaround to fix the issue is mere simple – 

  • SSH to source (6.7) vCenter and navigate to directory /etc
  • Create a new file SuSE-release using vi and write down below lines a

                   PATCHLEVEL = 3 

                   VERSION = 11 

                   SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86_64)

          Save the file 

  • Reboot the source vCenter appliance 
  • Retry vCenter upgrade to version 7

Hope this was helpful! 

Happy reading 🙂