Together with the danish VMware user forum, we have created at script that helps with the doll task of applying updates to an ESX VI 3.x host.

  1. Download each update from the VMware web site (http://www.vmware.com/download/vi/)
  2. Unpack each TGZ file with WinZip or 7-Zip
  3. Copy all extracted updates to a folder reachable by the ESX VI 3.x host.
  4. Download and extract esx-update.zip to 
    /tmp/
  5. Make the file executable
    chmod 777 /tmp/esx-update.sh
  6. Open the extracted file with vi (vi /tmp/esx-update.sh) and edit the following variables, so they reflect the server environment they will be running on.
    1. update_dir
    2. update_file
    3. log_file

To run the script it is a good idear to put the host in maintenance mode.

  1. Set the host in maintenance mode
    vimsh
    hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
  2. Now you can start the script 
    ./tmp/esx-update.sh
  3. Exit the host from maintenance mode
    vimsh
    hostsvc/maintenance_mode_exit

Download the file here.