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Archived Release Note: BIG-IP version 4.6.1 Release Note
Release Note

Software Release Date: 05/11/2004
Updated Date: 07/12/2006

This article has been archived, and is no longer maintained.

Summary:

This release note documents version 4.6.1 of the BIG-IP® software. You can apply the software upgrade to version 4.5 and later. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.

F5 now offers both maintenance and feature releases. Version 4.6.1 is a feature release that is based on version 4.5.9 code. For more information on our new release policies, please see New Versioning Schema for F5 Software Releases.

Warning: This is a feature release, not a maintenance release. Unless you need specific features that are new to this feature release, please upgrade to the latest maintenance release instead.

Contents:

- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Installing the software
- Activating the license
- New features and fixes in this release
- Features and fixes released in prior releases
- Known issues


Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • Intel® Pentium® III 550MHz processor
  • 256MB disk drive or CompactFlash® card (if you have the 3-DNS module, you need a 512MB disk drive or CompactFlash® card)
  • 256MB RAM

The supported browsers for the Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0
  • Netscape® Navigator 4.7x

 

Note: The IM package for this release is quite large. If the disk drive in your platform does not meet the minimum requirement, you may not be able to successfully install this release.

 

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Supported platforms

This release supports the following platforms:

  • F35
  • D25
  • D30
  • D35 (BIG-IP 520 and 540)
  • D39 (BIG-IP 1000)
  • D44 (BIG-IP 2400)
  • D45 (BIG-IP 2000)
  • D50 (BIG-IP 5000)
  • D51 (BIG-IP 5100 and 5110)

If you are unsure which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.

 

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Installing the software

Important:  If you are upgrading a BIG-IP redundant system, you must upgrade both units. We do not support running different versions on a BIG-IP redundant system.

Important:  Before you run the Configuration utility to configure the unit, you must complete the authorization and licensing process. (For details, see the Activating the license  section of the BIG-IP version 4.5 Release Note.) If you do not obtain a license before you run the Configuration utility, the system may behave in an unexpected manner.

Important:  If you are upgrading an IP Application Switch or a BIG-IP system that uses a CompactFlash® media drive, use the installation instructions here.

Note:  In rare instances, using a notebook computer to perform PXE installations of BIG-IP software causes corruption on the notebook computer hard drive. If you are using a notebook computer as a PXE server to install BIG-IP software, we recommend, as a precaution, that you first back up any important data stored on the notebook computer hard drive.

The following instructions explain how to install the BIG-IP software, version 4.6.1 onto existing systems running version 4.5 and later. The installation script saves your current configuration.

 

  1. Go to the Downloads site and locate the BIG-IP 4.6.1 upgrade file, BIGIP_4.6.1_Upgrade.im.

     

  2. Download the software image and the BIGIP_4.6.1_Upgrade.md5 file.

    For information about how to download software, refer to SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

  3. If you downloaded the image file to a directory other than /var/tmp, copy the image file to the /var/tmp/ directory on your BIG-IP system.

     

  4. Install this PTF by typing the following command:
    im BIGIP_4.6.1_Upgrade.im

    The BIG-IP system automatically reboots once it completes installation.


To upgrade an IP Application Switch or a CompactFlash® media drive, use the following process.

  1. Create a memory file system by typing the following command:

    mount_mfs -s 200000 /mnt

  2. Go to the Downloads site and locate the BIG-IP 4.6.1 upgrade file, BIGIP_4.6.1_Upgrade.im.

     

  3. Download the software image.

    For information about how to download software, refer to SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

  4. If you downloaded the image file to a directory other than /mnt, copy the image file to the /mnt directory on your BIG-IP system.

     


  5. Install this PTF by typing the following command:
    im /mnt/BIGIP_4.6.1_Upgrade.im

    The BIG-IP system automatically reboots once it completes installation.

Note:  This procedure provides over 90MB of temporary space on /mnt.  The partition and the im package file are deleted upon rebooting.

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Activating the license

Once you install the upgrade and connect the unit to the network, you need a valid license certificate to activate the software. To gain a license certificate, you need to provide two items to the license server: a registration key and a dossier.

The registration key  is a 25-character string. You should have received the key by email. The registration key lets the license server know which F5 products you are entitled to license.

The dossier  is obtained from the software, and is an encrypted list of key characteristics used to identify the platform.

You can obtain a license certificate using one of the following methods:

  • Automatic license activation
    You perform automatic license activation from the command line or from the web-based Configuration utility of an upgraded unit. This method automatically retrieves and submits the dossier to the F5 license server, as well as installs the signed license certificate. In order for you to use this method, the unit must be installed on a network with Internet access.
  • Manual license activation
    You perform manual license activation from the Configuration utility, which is the software user interface. With this method, you submit the dossier to, and retrieve the signed license file from, the F5 license server manually. In order for you to use this method, the administrative workstation must have Internet access.

Note:  You can open the Configuration utility with Netscape Navigator version 4.7, or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or 5.5. The Configuration utility is not supported in Netscape Navigator version 6.0.

To automatically activate a license from the command line for first time installation

  1. Type the user name root and the password default at the logon prompt.

  2. At the prompt, type license. The following prompts display:
    IP:
    Netmask:
    Default Route:
    Select interface to use to retrieve license:

    The unit uses this information to make an Internet connection to the license server.

  3. After you type the Internet connection information, continue to the following prompt:
    The Registration Key should have been included with the software or given when the order was placed. Do you have your Registration Key? [Y/N]:

    Type Y, and the following prompt displays:
    Registration Key:

  4. Type the 25-character registration key you received. If you received more than one key, enter all of the keys, separating each with a space.
    The dossier is retrieved and sent to the F5 license server, and a signed license file is returned and installed. A message displays indicating the process was successful.

  5. You are asked to accept the End User License Agreement.
    The system is not fully functional until you accept this agreement.

  6. You are prompted to reboot the system. Press Enter to reboot.
    The system is not fully functional until you reboot.

To automatically activate a license from the command line for upgrades

  1. Type your user name and password at the logon prompt.

  2. At the prompt, type setup.

  3. Choose menu option L.

  4. The following prompt displays:
    Number of keys: 1
    If you have more than one registration key, enter the appropriate number.

  5. The following prompt displays:
    Registration Key:
    Type the 25-character registration key you received. If you received more than one key, enter all of the keys, separating each with a space.
    The dossier is retrieved and sent to the F5 license server, and a signed license file is returned and installed. A message displays indicating the process was successful.

  6. When you are finished with the licensing process, type the following command to restart the services on the system:
    bigstart restart

To manually activate a license using the Configuration utility

  1. Open the Configuration utility according to the type of BIG-IP unit you are licensing:
    • If you are licensing a previously configured BIG-IP unit, open the Configuration utility using the configured address.

    • If you are licensing a new BIG-IP unit, from the administrative workstation, open the Configuration utility using one of the following addresses: https://192.168.1.245 or https://192.168.245.245. These are default addresses on the units local area network.

  2. Type the user name and password, based on the type of BIG-IP unit you are licensing:
    • If you are licensing a previously configured BIG-IP unit, type your user name and password at the logon prompt.

    • If you are licensing a new BIG-IP system, type the user name root, and the password default at the logon prompt.

    The Configuration utility menu displays.

  3. Click License Utility to open the License Administration screen.

  4. In the Registration Key box, type the 25-character registration key that you received. If you have more than one key to install, click Enter More Keys to install multiple keys. Once you have entered all registration keys, click Manual Authorization.

  5. At the Manual Authorization screen, retrieve the dossier using one of the following methods:

    • Copy the entire contents of the Product Dossier box.

    • Click Download Product Dossier, and save the dossier to the hard drive.

  6. Click the link in the License Server box.
    The Activate F5 License screen opens in a new browser window.

  7. From the Activate F5 License screen, submit the dossier using one of the following methods:

    • Paste the data you just copied into the Enter your dossier box, and click Activate.

    • At the Product Dossier box, click Browse to locate the dossier on the hard drive, and then click Activate.

    The screen returns a signed license file.

  8. Retrieve the license file using one of the following methods:

    • Copy the entire contents of the signed license file.

    • Click Download license, and save the license file to the hard drive.

  9. Return to the Manual Authorization screen, and click Continue.

  10. At the Install License screen, submit the license file using one of the following methods:

    • Paste the data you copied into the License Server Output box, and click Install License.

    • At the License File box, click Browse to locate the license file on the hard drive, and then click Install License.

    The License Status screen displays status messages, and Process complete appears when the licensing activation is finished.

  11. Click License Terms, review the EULA, and accept it.

  12. At the Reboot Prompt screen, select when you want to reboot the platform.
    License activation is complete only after rebooting.

To automatically activate a license using the Configuration utility

  1. Open the Configuration utility according to the type of BIG-IP unit you are licensing:
    • If you are licensing a previously configured BIG-IP unit, open the Configuration utility using the configured address.

    • If you are licensing a new BIG-IP unit, from the administrative workstation, open the Configuration utility using one of the following addresses: https://192.168.1.245 or https://192.168.245.245. These are default addresses on the units local area network.

  2. Type the name and password, based on what type of BIG-IP unit you are licensing:
    • If you are licensing a previously configured BIG-IP unit, type your user name and password at the logon prompt.

    • If you are licensing a new BIG-IP unit, type the user name root, and the password default at the logon prompt.

    The Configuration utility menu displays.

  3. Click License Utility to open the License Administration screen.

  4. In the Registration Key box, type the 25-character registration key that you received. If you have more than one key to install, click Enter More Keys to install multiple keys. Once you have entered all registration keys, click Automated Authorization.

    The License Status screen displays status messages, and Process complete appears when the licensing activation is finished.

  5. Click License Terms, review the EULA, and accept it.

  6. At the Reboot Prompt screen, select when you want to reboot the platform.
    License activation is complete only after rebooting.
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New features and fixes in this release

This release includes the following new features and fixes.

The OpenSSL package has been upgraded to version 0.9.7d (CR33306) (CR33755)
The OpenSSL package has been upgraded to version 0.9.7d. This upgrade addresses several recent security issues with OpenSSL described in Technical Cyber Security Alert TA04-078A. This version addresses CERT vulnerabilities VU#288574 and VU#484726. For more information on the resolved security issues, see http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/techalerts/TA04-078A.html.

The system_check utility  (CR34596) (CR34745)
When you run the system_check utility, it no longer incorrectly reports version is incorrect.

String comparisons in rules  (CR8717)
When you use a string comparison in a rule, it is case insensitive if you enclose the string expression in a tolower() function and compare it with a lowercase string literal. For example, in the comparison (tolower(http_uri) ends_with "jpg"), where http_uri is the string expression, and "jpg" is the lowercase string literal, the http_uri values JPG, JpG, or jpg, all return a comparison value of true.

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Features and fixes released in prior releases

The current release includes the features and fixes that were distributed in prior feature releases, as listed below.

Version 4.6

SSL proxy selective encryption  (CR23920)
This release provides the option of configuring SSL re-encryption at the pool level. For more information, see the BIG-IP New Features Guide for version 4.6, Chapter 2, SSL Proxy Selective Re-encryption .

Passing ICMP packets through a SNAT  (CR25315)
This release includes improvements in the way the BIG-IP system handles ICMP echo replies through a SNAT.

When two clients each send an ICMP echo through a SNAT on the BIG-IP system, the system now routes the ICMP echo replies and the ICMP time exceeded message back to the correct client.

In addition, when the BIG-IP system is configured to perform ICMP monitoring, and a client sends an ICMP echo through SNAT automap on the BIG-IP system, the system now correctly routes replies to either the BIG-IP system or the client, as appropriate.

CRL authentication enhancements  (CR27421)
This release includes enhancements to Certificate Revocation List (CRL) functionality, including the addition of CRL management using distribution points, and a configurable update interval that refreshes CRLs at a specified interval. For more information, see the BIG-IP New Features Guide for version 4.6, Chapter 4, CRL Authentication Enhancements .

Node counting  (CR28476)
This release includes the active_nodes function, which indicates how many nodes in the pool are available for load balancing. The active_nodes function is useful for configuring rules that send traffic to a particular pool, based on how many nodes are available in that pool. For more information, see the BIG-IP New Features Guide for version 4.6, Chapter 3, Node Counting Rule Function .

SID reuse  (CR30941)
SID reuse now works correctly with the SMP kernel.

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Known issues

This version of the BIG-IP software is based on version 4.5.9. For a list of known issues that existed prior to this release, see the known issues for version 4.5.9. The following known issue applies specifically to the new functionality that we added to version 4.6.

Header insertion with selective re-encryption (CR31960)
If you configure a proxy while you have header insertion and selective re-encryption enabled, 206 partial response messages cause application load errors.

Note: Any of the known issues from 4.5.9 that we have resolved appear in the New features and fixes in this release section of this release note.

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