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Manual Chapter: Using the image2disk and diskinit Utilities
Manual Chapter
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The image2disk utility performs software installation operations for installing this version of the software. You use the image2disk utility in the following situations:
For disaster-recovery operations in the event that the BIG-IP® system configuration becomes corrupted
The diskinit utility performs low-level hard-drive formatting. You can use the diskinit utility to first format the systems physical hard drives before you run the image2disk utility to install the software. You use the diskinit utility in the following situations:
To convert from version 9.3.x and 9.4.x partitioning to version 10.x volumes hard-drive formatting, without also installing the software
Note: The image2disk utility also formats the hard drive unless there are formatting errors on the disk, in which case you must first run the diskinit utility.
If you plan to install this version of the software onto a BIG-IP system that is currently running version 9.3.x or 9.4.x, you must perform a one-time upgrade procedure to make your system ready for the 10.x installation process. During the upgrade process, you can choose to preserve the version 9.3.x or 9.4.x software alongside version 10.x, or completely replace the version 9.3.x or 9.4.x software with version 10.x.
All of the preparatory installation tasks for upgrading from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x are the same as those for using the Software Management screens to upgrade from version 9.6.x or earlier versions of 10.x. Before you start the system installation, ensure that the system meets the requirements listed in the information in Performing prerequisite tasks, and then continue with Performing system upgrade, following.
Once you complete the prerequisite tasks described in Performing prerequisite tasks, you can continue with the process that preserves version 9.3.x and 9.4.x alongside version 10.x. This set of tasks is unique to 9.3.x or 9.4.x upgrade.
Important: You cannot use the image2disk utility to install verion 10.x to BIG-IP systems running version 9.2.x or earlier. You must first upgrade to version 9.3.x or 9.4.x. For information on upgrading, see the release notes for the associated software.
Before you can install the software, you must download the installation file. You can download the ISO installation image file from the F5 Networks Downloads site, at https://downloads.f5.com.
Once you have downloaded the file, use a copy utility applicable to your operating system to copy the ISO image to the /shared/images directory on the BIG-IP system.
Important: If your system does not already have this directory, you must create it. If you create the directory, make sure to use the exact name /shared/images.
To complete an upgrade from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x, you must have the upgrade utility on your system. The ISO installation file that you downloaded in the previous task, Downloading the installation file, contains the upgrade utility. You can copy the upgrade utility to your system from the command line by typing the following command:
The process copies over the image2disk installation utility, and then presents a status message, which lets you know that the im command is no longer supported, and tells you how to proceed.
To complete an upgrade from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x, you specify the number representing the installation location to upgrade and the name of the downloaded .iso file. The following example shows the command to run.
The upgrade process installs the software on the inactive installation location (--instslot) that you specify. This process usually takes between three minutes and seven minutes.
You can find more information about image2disk commands in the man page for the utility, available at the command line by typing man image2disk. You can also run the command image2disk -h on the system command line to get command line help for the image2disk utility.
When you prepare to install the 10.x software, you must decide whether you want to format the systems hard drive as volumes, or leave the drive formatted as partitions. If you plan a configuration that consists solely of 10.x software, we recommend that you use the volume disk-formatting scheme. If you plan to retain a 9.x version of the software on the BIG-IP system, however, you must use the existing formatting scheme.
One advantage of using volumes is that you can create multiple volumes to maintain several versions of 10.x software. The other advantage to having multiple volumes is that module products might utilize a specific volume for caching or for another purpose.
You can use the image2disk utility to convert from one type of disk management style to another (that is, from partitions to volumes, or vice versa), as you install the software. Also called logical volume management (LVM), volumes are supported on all platforms and modules supported version 10.x. If you plan a configuration that consists solely of 10.x software, we recommend that you use the volume disk-formatting scheme.
Warning: When you run the image2disk utility with the --format command to convert partitions to volumes, the operation removes all partitions or volumes, along with all data on the system.
Important: If you plan to retain a 9.x version of the software on the BIG-IP system you must use the existing partitions formatting scheme.
To format for volumes and migrate the active configuration to the destination location, run the following command:
To format for volumes and preserve the configuration of the installation destination, run the following command:
Once the installation process completes, you can reboot the system to check that the upgrade completed successfully. To do so, run the switchboot utility, boot to the installation location you upgraded, and check that your configuration appears as you expect. The following example shows the command to run.
Once the reboot operation is complete, you can continue with post-installation tasks. You might also want to review information in the section Understanding system configuration, for instructions on how to access the Configuration utility so you can complete these post-installation tasks.
Provision TMOS® modules
If the configuration becomes corrupted or unusable, and you can no longer access the Configuration utility or run the b software commands for installation purposes, you can run the image2disk utility to perform an installation. The steps are the same as those you use for upgrading from version 9.3.x or 9.4.x to version 10.x. For information, see the sections in Performing system upgrade.
Important: The image2disk utility cannot run if the system hard drive contains low-level formatting errors. For information about the hard-drive recovery process, see Recovering blank or damaged hard drives, following.
For the image2disk utility to function properly, there must be at least minimal partitioning on the system hard drives. The image2disk utility is not designed to repair low-level hard drive formatting issues, which might occur for one of the following reasons:
For low-level hard-drive formatting. You can use the diskinit utility to first format the systems physical hard drives before you run the image2disk utility to install the software.
In order to run the diskinit utility, the system drives cannot be active. That means that you must boot the system into the Maintenance Operating System (MOS). When you initially run the image2disk utility to install the 10.x software, the installation process places an updated MOS on the system.
Note: If you have not yet installed the version 10.x software, you can boot from a bootable thumb drive. For information about creating a bootable thumb drive, see Appendix B, Creating a Bootable USB Thumb Drive. You can also boot from a bootable CD-ROM that you have created.
Once you are booted into the MOS, you are ready to run the diskinit utility to completely erase the contents of the system hard drive and reformat using the disk formatting method you specify. If you plan to use exclusively 10.x versions of the software, F5 Networks recommends that you use the volumes style of disk formatting. If you plan to maintain version 9.x software, you must use the partitions style of disk formatting. For more information about which disk formatting style to specify for the diskinit command, review information in Formatting for volumes.
Warning: Running the diskinit command removes all information on the system hard drive. If that is not what you intended, do not proceed with the operation.
Warning: If you omit the -style option in the following procedure, the disk reformatting operation removes all file systems and volumes from all hard drives and does not create any new ones, This is not a typical operation, and F5 Networks does not recommend it.
4.
To continue, type y and press Enter. Otherwise, type n and press enter.
If you answer y, the system repartitions and reformats all system hard drives in the style you specify.
After formatting is finished, you can run image2disk to install the 10.x software. For information about the image2disk utility, see Introducing the image2disk and diskinit utilities.
For more information about the diskinit utility, see the command line help, available by running the command diskinit -h on the command line.
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