So I struggle with this. Our organization would like the ability to package tools upgrades with other maintenance windows, etc... but I see a lot of folks struggling with this. We have an older release 3.5.x of tools packaged fine but long term I am not sure we want to manage this package given that tools are updated 5-10 times per year.
What do you all feel is the best way to manage tools upgrades? Package it and automate deployement? Powershell? GPO's?
Have you considered VUM (VMware Update Manager) - it will allow you to upgrade VMware Tools and then you can the reboot during your maintenance windows - it will also handle the upgrades to your ESX hosts -
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I recently came across this post where you can update the tools without a reboot using PowerShell.
I haven't tested it yet but after a following the comments it appears they have sorted out some issues they may have had.
Hope this helps.