More for my own reference as I always forget the commands! Nice guide via the community forum on how to patch a host via CLI can be found HERE

In brief for a standalone ESXi host:

Upload the patch Zip file to the ESXi datastore

Shutdown any VM’s running on the ESXi host

Enter Maintenance Mode on the ESXi host

Load up VMware vCLI and run the below (replace the server IP/Username/Datastore with appropriate details)

esxcli –server= –username=root software vib update –depot=/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ESXi500-201109001.zip

It will then ask for your password, once entered it begins the update

You should then drop back to the vCLI prompt once done, reboot and you’re all set!